Senator Susan Collins (R- Maine) explains that in the United States Postal Service (USPS),”We actually have three people, age 98, who are still receiving worker’s comp,” for disability.Collins thinks it is time the United States government permanently retired these three.
“They are not coming back to work,” laughs Collins, adding that there are now a thousand plus disabled employees, former employees of the USPS, who are over eighty and will never return to work again.
Since disability costs more than retirement pay, Susan thinks, “They should be transferred to the normal retirement system.” Collins is introducing legislation to accomplish that goal and hopes that the bill will be passed.
Currently, under the Federal system, disabled employees who are unable to return to work have a choice. These employees may either choose to receive higher paying workers compensation benefits or retire – at lower pay. This choice system is costly. What worker wouldn’t opt to receive disability, which may be as much as 75% of their paycheck or the retirement amount, which may be considerably lower?
“Not only do the workers get a higher amount of money if they stay with worker’s comp,” adds Susan, “but it’s tax free.” The average difference is about 27%.
Following is a transcript, compiled from statements of Collins’ explanation about her efforts to close this loophole, from the video available on the left sidebar:
Right now, postal workers and federal employees, who are injured on the job – we wanna make sure we take care of them. But the idea of this program is for it to be of temporary assistance for them while they are out recovering from their injuries. The expectation is that they’re going to come back to work. Under the program, however, there are no time limits, no medical check-ups to periodically to see if they’re still disabled…
I’ve asked GAO to take a look to see if this problem is as serious in the rest of the federal government to see if this problem is as serious as it is in the postal service.
I’m introducing legislation to accomplish that goal.
Politically, this is a Republican minefield ripe for Democrat exploitation. Although any reasoned person immediately grasps that it’s a no brainer that disabled government workers shouldn’t be able to ride the federal gravy train forever, any attempt of Republicans to return sanity to the system of permanent disability will be couched as:
Republicans want to strip permanent disability benefits from disabled federal workers .