Workers' comp: not just for 80-year-olds any more


Congressional hearings on the U.S. Postal Service usually fall somewhat short of spine-tingling, but here’s a fascinating tidbit from this morning’s session before a Senate subcommittee: There are 132 postal workers aged 90 or older currently receiving workers’ compensation, three of whom are 98. That’s according to Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, the top Republican on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

“These individuals should be switched to the retirement system; they’re never going to return to work over age 90,” Collins said at the hearing by the panel’s federal financial management subcommittee.

According to Collins, employees on workers’ comp with dependents receive 75 percent of their wages, tax-fee. For comparison purposes, a postal retiree in the Civil Service Retirement System with at least 30 years service would receive 56.25 percent of salary, according to Collins.

But USPS spokesman Gerry McKiernan said later that some of those 132 people may be survivors of postal workers.  The workers’ comp policy is not unique to the Postal Service, he added, but government-wide.


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  1. How do I get this worker’s compensation?
    I an a postal worker and 70 years old.
    My wife has cancer and they are giving me a hard time using my sick leave to care for her I have a 1000 hours left and it is a crime to use them

  2. Well, by the looks of things you will be getting Saturday off very soon.

    Also, I think your question was rhetorical as most Federal postal system employees know full well how to make a WC or disability claim. Perhaps that is one of the reasons the cost of a postal stamp goes up about every 6 months.

    And peope expect the Federal government to deliver a cost-effective health care program for everyone? Don’t think so if the postal system is any guage.

  3. Workers’ compensation is an insurance program designed to shield employers from lawsuits when their employees are injured or killed, and ensure fair compensation to those employees or their survivors. The USA and several other countries have workers’ compensation program; the first one in the USA was Maryland’s, in 1902. All US states now have such programs, which apply to all employees, including the private sector as well as government. Employees who are injured or disabled, or the survivors of those who are killed, make claims for compensation from the insurance program — they are barred from suing their employers over the hazards.

    So don’t think workers’ comp is some sort of cushy government benefit — it applies to you, too, if you’re injured, disabled or killed on the job.

  4. Why exagerate to try to make a point? Stamps have not increased in 2 years, and looks like they will not allow an increase even though we are going broke. I sure wish gasoline had not gone up in 2 years!!!!

  5. This brings some related facts into focus.

    The Fed. Employers Compensation Act now covers about 1.35 million civilian workers, 1.4 million active duty military and .8 million military reserves.

    Between 1995 and 2009, FECA costs for the military increased 2.1%. For the civilian employees, it increased 45.4%.

    Daily FECA cost for the Department of Defense was
    $1,688,854 in 2009 as compared to the daily cost for civilian federal employees of $7,312,644.

    For every dollar spent on FECA claims arising from the U.S. military, $4.33 is spent on the federal civilican employees.


    Conclusion: Delivering the mail is more dangerous than serving in the U.S. military during wartime.

  6. Yes, Workers Compensation applies to the vast majority of US employees in the US and abroad. The difference is that the Federal version is much more lucretive in benefits than the various State versions. Why? Because it is far easier to increase benefits to the chosen few than it is the rest of us. Think politicans and government unions.

  7. Pingback: Fedline » Collins asks GAO to tackle workers’ comp fraud

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