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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Loss of Wage Earning Capacity Determinations

Many FECA claimants who have returned to work, or simply had their check reduced based upon a determination that they were capable of working even though there was no job available, can later apply to have OWCP determine that they are once again unemployable. This sort of a determination can be reviewed at any time. For instance, if OWCP determined you were capable of working ten years ago and now your work related condition has followed its natural progression (not worse due to an intervening events) and you are no longer employable, you can request that OWCP modify the Loss of Wage Earning Capacity Determination and determine that you are once again unemployable.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Be Very Careful With Your Health Insurance Decisions

I received a call the other day from a gentleman who had been disabled and unable to work for several years. He is getting by on his CSRS retirement pension and is being overtaken by bills. He wanted to know how to stop his federal health insurance from his pension so he could switch to a much cheaper plan that he had learned about via a telephone call pitching this inexpensive health insurance. I warned him that he needed to be very careful.

If you cancel your federal health insurance, you generally will not be allowed to pick it back up later. Currently there are many low cost health insurance plans that provide meager benefits. While these plans are called health insurance, benefits can be capped as low as just a few thousand dollars per year. If something sounds too good to be true, its not true. Few Americans can say they know they will have regular health insurance for the rest of their lives. Federal employees can. First while during working years, then, through pensions or workers compensation. If you become disabled before completing your career, you will get your health insurance through the disability aspect of your pension, or through workers compensation benefits, from which the premiums will continue to be deducted. Health insurance, unfortunately, is expensive. But, as I suggested to this gentleman, you need to look a little more carefully at this; what sort of health insurance is somebody really going to give you for $79 per month when your current health insurance is paying $450 per month for their share of your prescriptions alone?