A critical cost-control area within the Postal Service is the funding of workers’ compensation benefits for employees who sustain job-related injuries. It is a violation of federal criminal law for a claimant to knowingly make a false representation on an OWCP claim. A false representation typically involves misrepresentation of one’s physical limitation or failure to report income.
The OIG works closely with injury compensation units and Postal Service management to identify instances of suspected workers’ compensation fraud. When OIG special agents find instances of fraud, they gather facts and report findings to management and prosecutors. Criminal prosecution is an effective deterrent to combating workers’ compensation fraud.
Based on the OIG’s investigative activity, the Department of Labor (DOL) can remove claimants who fraudulently obtain workers’ compensation benefits from the DOL periodic and daily rolls. The resulting savings that accrues to the Postal Service is called a cost-avoidance. The OIG overall goal is to prevent and deter workers’ compensation fraud, not simply detect and investigate it.