Injury Compensation Program at the Fort Worth, Texas, Post Office
GGD-82-78: Published: Jul 6, 1982. Publicly Released: Aug 5, 1982.
- Full Report:
GAO reviewed the administration of the injury compensation program at the Fort Worth Post Office to assess allegations that the Post Office management views all reports of on-the-job injury as fraudulent until proven otherwise and, because of this: (1) delays or otherwise interferes with processing reports of injury and claims for compensation, and (2) requires partially disabled employees to work jobs and schedules that differ from their regular duty assignments.
The review showed that the Post Office management does not intentionally interfere with timely reporting of injuries and claims for compensation and does not violate Postal Service policy regarding limited duty assignments. Most of the problems perceived as existing in the injury compensation program appear to result from a mutual distrust between postal officials and certain employees and their representatives. There are delays in reporting injuries to the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP), and both employees and management share some responsibility for them. Similarly, there are delays in the processing and payment of claims for compensation. Employees, their physicians, Post Office management, and OWCP all share some responsibility for the delays. However, GAO found no instance where the delays appeared to be vindictive or otherwise intentional. In fact, the larger delay problem exists at OWCP, and no immediate improvement can be expected because of workload increases and budget cuts. Most temporarily partially disabled employees recovering from on-the-job injuries are returned to their regular job locations, hours of duty, and days off where they are assigned work consistent with their physical limitations. GAO found no instance where limited duty work assignments were unreasonable or inconsistent with Postal Service policy. GAO believed that charges that the monitoring of injury compensation translated to viewing every claim as fraudulent were unfounded.