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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

What does it mean that OWCP sent me a letter from a Quality Assurance Specialist ("QAS")?

When you are receiving FECA benefits you are going to be regularly scrutinized. Your employing agency may do surveillance and OWCP will also periodically require all sorts of information from you. I was recently shown a letter signed by the district director of an OWCP office asking the claimant to contact an individual who was identified as a Quality Assurance Specialist (QAS). The person identified on the letter as the QAS is actually a criminal investigator from the USDOL. Its not clear whether the target here is the claimant or the claimant's physician. Or perhaps this is just the usual routine over the top OWCP bullying techniques.

When OWCP sends you a letter telling you to do something, if there is an explicity threat that if you don't cooperate your benefits will be sanctioned, then you cannot ignore the letter. However, if the letter does not give you notice that there is a penalty for not responding, then you may want to consider whether or not you respond. The fact that this letter was signed by the district director, provided the name of an OWCP claims supervisor and a direct dial number for him (OWCP employees typically make it impossible to find their direct dial info), and lastly the person identified benignly as a "QAS" is in reality a criminal investigator, makes me concerned that this person may have a serious problem. This person should perhaps have a lawyer contact the QAS on their behalf to find out what is going on and act as an intermediary.