Too “Injured” to Sell Stamps, but Drywall and Hardware? No Problem!

From the USPS Office of Inspector General

Fraudulent workers’ compensation claims make up a small percentage of the total claims submitted by Postal Service employees. But they can cost the Postal Service thousands of dollars in long-term costs. So, when a tip on a suspect claim is reported to the OIG, our Special Agents investigate.

This was the case when a postal supervisor observed one of his employees, a Sales and Service Associate, working as a cashier at a home improvement store. Second jobs are not uncommon, especially in these economic times. But this employee was unable to work her postal job due to a claimed on-the-job injury to her right knee in March 2008. So, while gathering a home improvement store paycheck starting in April 2008, she was also receiving workers’ compensation payments – – 75% of her postal salary – tax-free!

OIG Special Agents found that the postal employee deceived her treating physician about her work capabilities and told the doctor the Postal Service had no “limited duty” work available. When the true information was provide to the physician, he immediately returned the employee to work full duty without medical restrictions. The Department of Labor terminated her benefits and the Postal Service avoided the potential cost of $1,103,149 in future OWCP compensation payments. The postal employee’s story doesn’t end there. She was fired from her job. A federal Grand Jury indicted her and a jury convicted her of making false statements and mail fraud. She is facing up to 25 years in prison at sentencing. She has got to be asking herself, “Was it worth it?”

If you suspect workers’ compensation fraud by a Postal Service employee, contact us at 1-888-USPS-OIG.