Many calls come in where individuals have been on OWCP benefits for some time; it is, as I often explain, a difficult road to take, let alone stay on. The compensation is certainly better, and in comparison to what Federal Disability Retirement benefits pay under FERS or CSRS, it can mean the difference between relative financial comfort and hardships. But the difficulties which people — almost without exception — encounter with OWCP — from the constant harassment, to the threat of cutting off benefits, to repetitive examinations before Second Opinion and referee doctors, etc., makes for intolerable conditions. Further, OWCP is not a retirement system, as I incessantly and redundantly state; it is a mechanism in which to allow for temporary compensation to be received while a Federal or Postal worker is recuperating from an on-the-job injury. And that is the key concept — the Federal or Postal worker is expected, in the end, to recuperate and go back to work. OPM Disability Retirement, on the other hand, is just that — a retirement from the Federal Service, for a medical condition which is expected to last for a minimum of 12 months, but as in most cases, as a permanent condition of the Federal or Postal employee.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire