Suspension of Compensation

OWCP recently seems to be very quick to suspend benefits based on alleging that the claimant obstructed an OWCP process i.e., did not appear for an exam or failed to supply a Form 1032.  OWCP will give the claimant 30 days to supply the missing form or provide a written explanation as to why they failed to appear. At the end of the 30-day period the CE will then issue the order to cease benefits. While the ECOMP system will record that the notice was sent to the claimant, there is no guarantee that the claimant received the notice of suspension in a timely manner. 

I recently represented a claimant that lives in Wasilla, Alaska.  For some reason, OWCP sent the notice to Wasilla, Arkansas.  The CE claimed that under the OWCP “mailbox rule”, it is presumed that the claimant received notice.  We pointed out to the CE that, again, the letter was sent to Arkansas NOT Alaska.  The Office said that the letter was not returned, therefore it was received by the claimant. 

My father always thought that yelling at OWCP was a poor way to persuade them.  If the matter were not so serious, it would almost be amusing. 

Fortunately, a higher authority at OWCP stepped in and resolved the matter favorably to the claimant. 

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