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Shocking Report: Under Biden Admin Hurt & Ill Federal Workers Face Delayed Care

The mission of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) “is to protect the interests of workers who are injured or become ill on the job, their families and their employers by making timely, appropriate, and accurate decisions on claims, providing prompt payment of benefits and helping injured workers return to gainful work as early as is feasible.” However, a recent audit from DOL’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) found that gaps in oversight and quality control in the Energy Workers Program led to delays in processing claims, incorrect claims decisions, and delayed medical care for hurt or ill workers.
OIG found that under Biden, OWCP has not been transparent in reporting how long it has taken to process claims—even going as far as no longer publicly reporting its performance results. The OIG’s audit shows that wait times increased while the volume of final decisions dropped. No wonder the Biden administration tried to hide this troubling trend. In 2022, it took an average of 207 days to make 4,910 final decisions, compared to 182 days for 6,023 final decisions in 2018 under the previous administration. 
The OIG found numerous errors in adjudicated claims, such as incomplete verification of employment and lack of medical evidence to establish the link between employment and the illness. When the OIG asked how these errors will be corrected, OWCP said that supervisors are responsible for making corrections. Yet the agency admitted it does not keep records of incorrect claims decisions, nor does it have proof that supervisors actually rectified these errors. 
OWCP is failing miserably in its basic duties to make timely, appropriate, and accurate decisions on claims, provide prompt payment of benefits, and help injured federal workers and federal contractor employees return to work. This audit should serve as a rude awakening. OWCP has an obligation to do better because American workers deserve better. 
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