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Federal Workers Comp hurts Americans
By William T. Gallucci
Edinburg VA

Published in: The Shenandoah Valley-Herald
Wednesday, October 13, 2004

   WHILE STRAINING TO LIFT a heavy press wipping rag into position in April of 1973, I badly injured the fifth lumbar disc in my back. If one becomes injured in the Federal Government, the injured worker will face the US Department of Labor Workers Compensation Office.   This office is mandated by Congress to assist workers injured on the jobBill Gallucci and rehabilitate them if they cannot return to their usual employment.

   However, instead of following the law and the intent of Congress, individuals at the Department of labor write capricious decisions, fail to follow the law, and refuse to pay timely medical bills and compensation.

   In my own compensation case, under federal law,  and like 2.7 million other federal employees, should they ever get hurt on the job , I was now entitled to receive monthly ³Workers¹ Compensation² benefits.While straining to lift Moreover, if for some reason I could not return to my former position, I was entitled under the law to Vocational Rehabilitation. This did not happen. Through a series of astonishing blunders, arbitrary rulings and outright fraud, I received only a tiny fraction of the monies to which I was lawfully entitled in 1974. 

    I lost my home first.  Later, I wound up on the street, the stresses and strains caused bankruptcy, it broke my family apart, a Divorce ensued, and I saw far less of my children.

OWCP whistleblower Joseph Perez, a longtime hearing examiner told a subcommittee of the House Committee on Government Management, Information, and Technology on July 6, 1998 that, ³I submit to you, Mr. Chairman, that in fact most of these cases [brought by injured federal workers illegally denied their benefits] are legitimate, and there are needless roadblocks being put up against these employees. What is the basis for these roadblocks, Mr. Chairman?  I feel it is complaints from the employing agencies about rising compensation costs.²

   While outlining how OWCP routinely deprives federal workers of rightful benefits in order to cut down on costs, Mr. Perez noted that, ³Then-OWCP Director Thomas Markey routinely violates the integrity of the appeals process.  As the top official, involved with the day-to-day administration he routinely reviews the decisions of Hearing Representatives. This is a clear violation of the independence of the hearing process.²

   Mr. Perez went on to say, Director Markey directly interferes with the rendering of fair decisions in favor of injured employees. He does this by trying to intimidate Hearing Representatives into rewriting their decisions and, when this is unsuccessful, by actually overturning the decisions himself.

   Today the OWCP is still up to their dirty tricks, disallowing valid claims and forcing endless appeals that force injured federal workers into bankrupts by the system that was created for their protection.

   The Congress and Senate has allowed this problem to continue, devastating the lives of war veterans and injured federal workers, many of whom are destitute women forced to live with repetitive stress injuries.

Bill Gallucci
PO Box 99
Edinburg VA 22824
E-Mail: billg@shentel.net

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