Is it worth it?

  • Published
  • By Kenneth Hudgens
  • Air Force Flight Test Center Personnel
Under the Federal Employees' Compensation Act, employees who sustain an injury or illness caused by  an employer,  can receive compensation for medical expenses and lost wages.

Unfortunately, there are situations where a few individuals abuse this benefit intended for those truly deserving of the compensation made available for this purpose.

In order to preserve the integrity of this program, we have a workers' compensation fraud detection program.

Under this program, our FECA investigator tracks suspect claims by current and former employees. Many times, supervisors, co-workers, and the general public provide our investigator with tips to help detect those suspect claimants.

The FECA investigator reviews case files, monitors the Office of Workers' Compensation's (OWCPs) list of payments made to claimants, and uses other sources of information and means to help detect potential fraud.

I'd like to share with you a couple of our success stories.

In 2008, one claimant's workers' compensation benefits were terminated due to false statements made with the intent of illegally obtaining OWCP benefits.

The claimant had a previous conviction for worker compensation in 2001 at EAFB. This employee was also removed from Federal service.

In March 2009, a former employee, who continued to be monitored, was arraigned after being indictment by a grand jury on 2 felony counts of fraud in the U.S. District Court for unreported business ownership and income. This employee cost the taxpayers nearly one million dollars in medical and compensation benefits. Claimant later pleaded guilty and was convicted in October 2009. He is currently awaiting sentencing and could receive up to 5 years in prison, levied a $250,000 fine along with reimbursing the U.S. Government.

When job-related injuries preclude the performance of normal work functions, civilian employees receive a monthly FECA payment while not working for their regular salary.
This wage-loss compensation is paid by the U.S. Air Force through the Department of Labor in accordance with FECA regulations. The projected savings of the monthly FECA payment through age 70 is the amount referred to as cost avoidance. Is it worth it to you?

Much of the success of our FECA fraud detection program is due to our observant and diligent supervisors and the workforce. The FECA investigator relies on information and their cooperation.

Any questions or tips can be directed to your servicing  Human Resources Specialist (Labor and Employee Management Relations) at 661-277-2379.