Injury Compensation

The Postal Service continues to work closely with the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) to place injured employees who cannot be accommodated within the Postal Service into private sector employment. These efforts have resulted in private sector placements, employee retirements, or reductions in compensation payments for 277 former employees this year. Since inception in 2003, compensation costs have been reduced by more than $32.8 million annually.

This year the Postal Service saw an increase of 6 percent in workers’ compensation chargeback expenses from the Department of Labor OWCP, primarily because of medical cost inflation, despite continued decreases in illness, injuries, and accidents. The cash payout totaled over $1 billion.

To help reduce workers’ compensation medical costs, the Postal Service expanded the Pharmacy Card Program which discounts prescription prices for the Postal Service and avoids employees paying out-of-pocket expenses and waiting for reimbursement. A savings in excess of $8 million was achieved. Monetary gain from pursuit of third-party claims and overpayments are credited to the Postal Service by OWCP. Ongoing efforts with the program have attained $42.7 million.

The National Reassessment Process (NRP) is a key initiative that reviews the status of employees in rehabilitation and limited-duty assignments at the end of each year. It ensures that every evaluated employee is placed in an appropriate and necessary work position. NRP Phase 2, which assesses rehabilitation assignments, was successfully implemented in 68 sites. Currently 22 sites are assessing limited duty assignments to eliminate all make-work assignments. The number of employees in rehabilitation and limited duty assignments was reduced from 31,044 to 28,147, resulting in $110 million cost-savings through June 2009.