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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

OWCP contractor files for bankruptcy after allowing claimant records to be stolen

A company called Impairment Resources was recently burglarized and computer drives with confidential claimant information was stolen. This is relevant to OWCP claimants because physician Christopher Brigham, who has contracts to review schedule award requests for OWCP, performs that work as Impairment Resources.

A report from the Wall Street Journal yesterday (see link below), advises that rather than deal with the time and expense of helping people with their problems created by this breach, Impairment Resources is being liquidated in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

It is very troubling that OWCP continues to send confidential OWCP claimant information to Christopher Brigham / Impairment Resources under these circumstances.

Even more troubling is that OWCP has not bothered to notify claimants of the theft of their personal information nor taken any steps to advise OWCP claimants what steps they can take and what resources are available to them to protect themselves from identity theft and other problems caused by the failure to have appropriate measures in place to secure claimant records.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Getting records into your OWCP file

OWCP has created a new function that allows you to "upload" records directly into your workers compensation file instead of mailing or faxing. I have been using this function for about a month and it seems to work very well. Yesterday I was speaking with a Hearing Representative about an upcoming hearing and she was able to see a document that I had uploaded to that file just a few minutes before I called her. Here is the link:

Thursday, March 1, 2012

OPM Disability Retirement

I am frequently asked how does OPM figure my disability retirement pension payment. For a FERS disability this is a fairly straightforward matter. During the first 12 months, you are paid 60 percent of your high-3, minus 100 percent of any Social Security disability benefit to which you are entitled. After the first 12 months, you receive 40 percent of your high-3. minus 60 percent of any Social Security disability benefit. Keep in mind that Social Security disability is frequently approved after OPM has already commenced paying you. In that circumstance, when you receive a retroactive payment from Social Security, you need to hold on to that money because OPM is going to come back and recalculate your pension payment from the date your Social Security started and declare an overpayment.