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Re: [owcp] Update on OIG Investigation

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  • FourDirect@aol.com
    Hi group, Does anyone else feel a bit offended by the fact that the whole OIG investigation exists in order to serve the government and save them money while
    Message 1 of 17 , Jul 10 5:53 PM
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      Hi group,
       
      Does anyone else feel a bit offended by the fact that the whole OIG investigation exists in order to serve the government and save them money while nothing is being done to help those of us who struggle so hard to obtain what we are entitled to in order to heal or survive because we became ill while serving our country? I was not medivaced but became ill shortly after my departure for a Peace Corps related set of illnesses for which I have had a very legitimate claim.
       
      Just wondering how the group feels about this issue. I get so frustrated that we have no advocates.
       
      And Kevin, I thank you so much for taking the lead on managing this Listserv so well and for so long. Do stay in touch and be well.
       
      I do hope you are still interested, Sue!
       
      Best Wishes,
      Nancy Tongue
      NYC (Chile 1980-82)




      See what's free at AOL.com.
    • Sue T
      I am still interested and I am glad you use the word advocate . I just finished replying to Kevin regarding my oversight -- I realize not all of the folks on
      Message 2 of 17 , Jul 11 6:27 AM
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        I am still interested and I am glad you use the word
        "advocate". I just finished replying to Kevin
        regarding my oversight -- I realize not all of the
        folks on this forum were med sepped like I was.
        However, we are all sort of drifting in the system of
        FECA and dealing with claim representatives in our
        respective areas who ultimately tell us that "I'm
        sorry, keep calling to _______ [fill in the blank --
        in my case it is keep calling to find a doctor who is
        closer than 400 miles to your home]".

        I am not sure what I can do as the forum
        administrator, but stirring up a bit of advocacy seems
        like a good use of this group. I eventually got my
        senator (Bill Nelson) involved in my case and my
        contact in his office said that if I really wanted the
        system to be easier to work with (she's dealt with
        OWCP/FECA for six years and never has her intervention
        had the desired result -- in my case obtaining
        reimbursement for the 7-hour drive to my doctor). She
        said point blank that until there is a critical mass
        nothing will change -- I've called the OIG in DC and
        complained at great length (realizing it would be
        nothing more than a catharsis and a bother to the
        fella on the other end [but I felt better afterwards].
        The guy there is sympathetic and seems to be very
        genuine in wishing my case were a bit easier, but
        "there's nothing I can do" is his ultimate response.
        The people are nice and sympathetic but completely
        powerless to get us results b/c of POLICIES. It's
        nonsense! My condition left me jobless, homeless,
        physically disabled, and in a tad bit of pain. I'm
        sure there are many more of you out there. Luckily I
        didn't have kids or other family responsibilities, so
        I've had TIME to waste on the system, but what about
        the others (I'm thinking of other fed employees
        injured on the job) who are single parents or
        something? The things the FECA system does is
        UNCONSCIONABLE!

        I've been quiet b/c I've been so focused on getting
        back on my feet. I'm finally walking (but looking at
        probably another surgery), working at a good job (in
        the public sector where taxes are getting slashed, so
        I only know I have a job for now. . . . ). I have a
        bit more energy to sort of think of others. I talk
        big about some kind of advocacy, but I am not
        promising to lead any kind of movement or anything.
        I'm fairly pragmatic (read: selfish and lazy).
        However, if something can foment interest in a group
        of us, my attitude could be easily changed.

        For the time being, I would simply like to take over
        this group as moderator or whatever. If you have
        ideas for how to improve the group, publicize it (it
        was really hard for me to find this group last year
        and I really needed some support [emotionally]), I
        would like to know. I'm not the moderator at this
        time, but should that occur, let's see what we can do.
        I know there are a lot more PCVs who could use this
        as a resource. I didn't find this until after my
        lowest low, but for others who hit that low-low, I'd
        like to see if this could be a resource for them as a
        support, and if there's something we can do to at
        least voice our take on the policies and such, what
        better resource than an online community?

        Anyway, I'm getting down off the soap box. Gotsta get
        back to work while I have this awesome job. . . .

        Regards,
        Sue Trone


        --- FourDirect@... wrote:

        > Hi group,
        >
        > Does anyone else feel a bit offended by the fact
        > that the whole OIG
        > investigation exists in order to serve the
        > government and save them money while
        > nothing is being done to help those of us who
        > struggle so hard to obtain what we
        > are entitled to in order to heal or survive because
        > we became ill while serving
        > our country? I was not medivaced but became ill
        > shortly after my departure
        > for a Peace Corps related set of illnesses for
        > which I have had a very
        > legitimate claim.
        >
        > Just wondering how the group feels about this issue.
        > I get so frustrated
        > that we have no advocates.
        >
        > And Kevin, I thank you so much for taking the lead
        > on managing this Listserv
        > so well and for so long. Do stay in touch and be
        > well.
        >
        > I do hope you are still interested, Sue!
        >
        > Best Wishes,
        > Nancy Tongue
        > NYC (Chile 1980-82)
        >
        >
        >
        > ************************************** See what's
        > free at http://www.aol.com
        >




        ____________________________________________________________________________________
        Don't pick lemons.
        See all the new 2007 cars at Yahoo! Autos.
        http://autos.yahoo.com/new_cars.html
      • Kevin
        For the time being, I would simply like to take over this group as moderator ... Your wish has been granted. :) Congratulations, and thank you for stepping
        Message 3 of 17 , Jul 11 9:58 AM
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          "For the time being, I would simply like to take over
          this group as moderator ..."

          Your wish has been granted. :) Congratulations, and thank you for
          stepping forward. We all appreciate it.


          --- In owcp@yahoogroups.com, Sue T <sallie_ali_sue@...> wrote:
          >
          > I am still interested and I am glad you use the word
          > "advocate". I just finished replying to Kevin
          > regarding my oversight -- I realize not all of the
          > folks on this forum were med sepped like I was.
          > However, we are all sort of drifting in the system of
          > FECA and dealing with claim representatives in our
          > respective areas who ultimately tell us that "I'm
          > sorry, keep calling to _______ [fill in the blank --
          > in my case it is keep calling to find a doctor who is
          > closer than 400 miles to your home]".
          >
          > I am not sure what I can do as the forum
          > administrator, but stirring up a bit of advocacy seems
          > like a good use of this group. I eventually got my
          > senator (Bill Nelson) involved in my case and my
          > contact in his office said that if I really wanted the
          > system to be easier to work with (she's dealt with
          > OWCP/FECA for six years and never has her intervention
          > had the desired result -- in my case obtaining
          > reimbursement for the 7-hour drive to my doctor). She
          > said point blank that until there is a critical mass
          > nothing will change -- I've called the OIG in DC and
          > complained at great length (realizing it would be
          > nothing more than a catharsis and a bother to the
          > fella on the other end [but I felt better afterwards].
          > The guy there is sympathetic and seems to be very
          > genuine in wishing my case were a bit easier, but
          > "there's nothing I can do" is his ultimate response.
          > The people are nice and sympathetic but completely
          > powerless to get us results b/c of POLICIES. It's
          > nonsense! My condition left me jobless, homeless,
          > physically disabled, and in a tad bit of pain. I'm
          > sure there are many more of you out there. Luckily I
          > didn't have kids or other family responsibilities, so
          > I've had TIME to waste on the system, but what about
          > the others (I'm thinking of other fed employees
          > injured on the job) who are single parents or
          > something? The things the FECA system does is
          > UNCONSCIONABLE!
          >
          > I've been quiet b/c I've been so focused on getting
          > back on my feet. I'm finally walking (but looking at
          > probably another surgery), working at a good job (in
          > the public sector where taxes are getting slashed, so
          > I only know I have a job for now. . . . ). I have a
          > bit more energy to sort of think of others. I talk
          > big about some kind of advocacy, but I am not
          > promising to lead any kind of movement or anything.
          > I'm fairly pragmatic (read: selfish and lazy).
          > However, if something can foment interest in a group
          > of us, my attitude could be easily changed.
          >
          > For the time being, I would simply like to take over
          > this group as moderator or whatever. If you have
          > ideas for how to improve the group, publicize it (it
          > was really hard for me to find this group last year
          > and I really needed some support [emotionally]), I
          > would like to know. I'm not the moderator at this
          > time, but should that occur, let's see what we can do.
          > I know there are a lot more PCVs who could use this
          > as a resource. I didn't find this until after my
          > lowest low, but for others who hit that low-low, I'd
          > like to see if this could be a resource for them as a
          > support, and if there's something we can do to at
          > least voice our take on the policies and such, what
          > better resource than an online community?
          >
          > Anyway, I'm getting down off the soap box. Gotsta get
          > back to work while I have this awesome job. . . .
          >
          > Regards,
          > Sue Trone
          >
          >
          > --- FourDirect@... wrote:
          >
          > > Hi group,
          > >
          > > Does anyone else feel a bit offended by the fact
          > > that the whole OIG
          > > investigation exists in order to serve the
          > > government and save them money while
          > > nothing is being done to help those of us who
          > > struggle so hard to obtain what we
          > > are entitled to in order to heal or survive because
          > > we became ill while serving
          > > our country? I was not medivaced but became ill
          > > shortly after my departure
          > > for a Peace Corps related set of illnesses for
          > > which I have had a very
          > > legitimate claim.
          > >
          > > Just wondering how the group feels about this issue.
          > > I get so frustrated
          > > that we have no advocates.
          > >
          > > And Kevin, I thank you so much for taking the lead
          > > on managing this Listserv
          > > so well and for so long. Do stay in touch and be
          > > well.
          > >
          > > I do hope you are still interested, Sue!
          > >
          > > Best Wishes,
          > > Nancy Tongue
          > > NYC (Chile 1980-82)
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > ************************************** See what's
          > > free at http://www.aol.com
          > >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          ______________________________________________________________________
          ______________
          > Don't pick lemons.
          > See all the new 2007 cars at Yahoo! Autos.
          > http://autos.yahoo.com/new_cars.html
          >
        • Kevin
          Peace Corps, especially its OIG, has a vested (and legitimate) interest in properly and efficiently paying for workers compensation claims. Peace Corps also
          Message 4 of 17 , Jul 11 10:14 AM
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            Peace Corps, especially its OIG, has a vested (and legitimate)
            interest in properly and efficiently paying for workers' compensation
            claims. Peace Corps also has a vested interest, not to mention a
            legal responsibility, to make sure that those of us who are eligible
            for workers' compensation benefits receive those benefits.

            I am concerned that the former may take precedence over the latter.
            It's unfortunate that Peace Corps refuses to advocate for those of us
            who suffer at the hands of OWCP. Peace Corps is the client agency
            and could have a powerful influence over OWCP if it chose to.
            Unfortunately, to date, they have shown absolutely no interest in
            doing so.

            Kevin

            --- In owcp@yahoogroups.com, FourDirect@... wrote:
            >
            > Hi group,
            >
            > Does anyone else feel a bit offended by the fact that the whole
            OIG
            > investigation exists in order to serve the government and save them
            money while
            > nothing is being done to help those of us who struggle so hard to
            obtain what we
            > are entitled to in order to heal or survive because we became ill
            while serving
            > our country? I was not medivaced but became ill shortly after my
            departure
            > for a Peace Corps related set of illnesses for which I have had a
            very
            > legitimate claim.
            >
            > Just wondering how the group feels about this issue. I get so
            frustrated
            > that we have no advocates.
            >
            > And Kevin, I thank you so much for taking the lead on managing
            this Listserv
            > so well and for so long. Do stay in touch and be well.
            >
            > I do hope you are still interested, Sue!
            >
            > Best Wishes,
            > Nancy Tongue
            > NYC (Chile 1980-82)
          • Kevin
            Sue, You mentioned that your caseworker said point blank that until there is a critical mass nothing will change. The problem is how to reach that critical
            Message 5 of 17 , Jul 11 10:35 AM
            • 0 Attachment
              Sue,

              You mentioned that your caseworker said point blank that until there is
              a critical mass
              nothing will change. The problem is how to reach that critical mass.
              Since there is no centralized place (or person) that we can go to for
              assistance, it's extremely difficult to even approach critical mass.
              With 12 OWCP District Offices, 100 Senators, and 435 Representatives,
              how much more decentralized could the system be? As you may know, the
              former Peace Corps Director nixed the idea of an ombudsman to assist us.
              I wonder if the new Director, Ron Tschetter, would be amenable to
              resurrecting the idea. Maybe we should ask?

              Kevin


              --- In owcp@yahoogroups.com, Sue T <sallie_ali_sue@...> wrote:
              >
              > I am still interested and I am glad you use the word
              > "advocate". I just finished replying to Kevin
              > regarding my oversight -- I realize not all of the
              > folks on this forum were med sepped like I was.
              > However, we are all sort of drifting in the system of
              > FECA and dealing with claim representatives in our
              > respective areas who ultimately tell us that "I'm
              > sorry, keep calling to _______ [fill in the blank --
              > in my case it is keep calling to find a doctor who is
              > closer than 400 miles to your home]".
              >
              > I am not sure what I can do as the forum
              > administrator, but stirring up a bit of advocacy seems
              > like a good use of this group. I eventually got my
              > senator (Bill Nelson) involved in my case and my
              > contact in his office said that if I really wanted the
              > system to be easier to work with (she's dealt with
              > OWCP/FECA for six years and never has her intervention
              > had the desired result -- in my case obtaining
              > reimbursement for the 7-hour drive to my doctor). She
              > said point blank that until there is a critical mass
              > nothing will change -- I've called the OIG in DC and
              > complained at great length (realizing it would be
              > nothing more than a catharsis and a bother to the
              > fella on the other end [but I felt better afterwards].
              > The guy there is sympathetic and seems to be very
              > genuine in wishing my case were a bit easier, but
              > "there's nothing I can do" is his ultimate response.
              > The people are nice and sympathetic but completely
              > powerless to get us results b/c of POLICIES. It's
              > nonsense! My condition left me jobless, homeless,
              > physically disabled, and in a tad bit of pain. I'm
              > sure there are many more of you out there. Luckily I
              > didn't have kids or other family responsibilities, so
              > I've had TIME to waste on the system, but what about
              > the others (I'm thinking of other fed employees
              > injured on the job) who are single parents or
              > something? The things the FECA system does is
              > UNCONSCIONABLE!
              >
              > I've been quiet b/c I've been so focused on getting
              > back on my feet. I'm finally walking (but looking at
              > probably another surgery), working at a good job (in
              > the public sector where taxes are getting slashed, so
              > I only know I have a job for now. . . . ). I have a
              > bit more energy to sort of think of others. I talk
              > big about some kind of advocacy, but I am not
              > promising to lead any kind of movement or anything.
              > I'm fairly pragmatic (read: selfish and lazy).
              > However, if something can foment interest in a group
              > of us, my attitude could be easily changed.
              >
              > For the time being, I would simply like to take over
              > this group as moderator or whatever. If you have
              > ideas for how to improve the group, publicize it (it
              > was really hard for me to find this group last year
              > and I really needed some support [emotionally]), I
              > would like to know. I'm not the moderator at this
              > time, but should that occur, let's see what we can do.
              > I know there are a lot more PCVs who could use this
              > as a resource. I didn't find this until after my
              > lowest low, but for others who hit that low-low, I'd
              > like to see if this could be a resource for them as a
              > support, and if there's something we can do to at
              > least voice our take on the policies and such, what
              > better resource than an online community?
              >
              > Anyway, I'm getting down off the soap box. Gotsta get
              > back to work while I have this awesome job. . . .
              >
              > Regards,
              > Sue Trone
              >
              >
              > --- FourDirect@... wrote:
              >
              > > Hi group,
              > >
              > > Does anyone else feel a bit offended by the fact
              > > that the whole OIG
              > > investigation exists in order to serve the
              > > government and save them money while
              > > nothing is being done to help those of us who
              > > struggle so hard to obtain what we
              > > are entitled to in order to heal or survive because
              > > we became ill while serving
              > > our country? I was not medivaced but became ill
              > > shortly after my departure
              > > for a Peace Corps related set of illnesses for
              > > which I have had a very
              > > legitimate claim.
              > >
              > > Just wondering how the group feels about this issue.
              > > I get so frustrated
              > > that we have no advocates.
              > >
              > > And Kevin, I thank you so much for taking the lead
              > > on managing this Listserv
              > > so well and for so long. Do stay in touch and be
              > > well.
              > >
              > > I do hope you are still interested, Sue!
              > >
              > > Best Wishes,
              > > Nancy Tongue
              > > NYC (Chile 1980-82)
            • Kevin
              I ll still be around. I just need to step aside, for the most part, and let others take a stab at running the Group. ... Listserv so well and for so long. Do
              Message 6 of 17 , Jul 11 10:41 AM
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                I'll still be around. I just need to step aside, for the most part,
                and let others take a stab at running the Group.

                --- In owcp@yahoogroups.com, FourDirect@... wrote:

                > ... Kevin, I thank you so much for taking the lead on managing this
                Listserv so well and for so long. Do stay in touch and be well.
              • Kevin
                I forgot to mention the one sentence in the OIG report that really caught my eye: Within a relatively short period after the OIG mailings, more than 500 FECA
                Message 7 of 17 , Jul 11 10:54 AM
                • 0 Attachment
                  I forgot to mention the one sentence in the OIG report that really
                  caught my eye:

                  "Within a relatively short period after the OIG mailings, more than
                  500 FECA recipients voluntarily dropped off the rolls, which resulted
                  in a savings of approximately $500,000."

                  I have to wonder how many of those individuals were scofflaws and how
                  many gave up because they were intimidated by the OIG!



                  --- In owcp@yahoogroups.com, FourDirect@... wrote:
                  >
                  > Hi group,
                  >
                  > Does anyone else feel a bit offended by the fact that the whole
                  OIG
                  > investigation exists in order to serve the government and save them
                  money while
                  > nothing is being done to help those of us who struggle so hard to
                  obtain what we
                  > are entitled to in order to heal or survive because we became ill
                  while serving
                  > our country? ...

                  > Best Wishes,
                  > Nancy Tongue
                  > NYC (Chile 1980-82)
                • Felicia
                  Also, if your condition isn t one that the Peace Corps wants to talk about (like the long term side effects of taking Lariam), then they do a good job of
                  Message 8 of 17 , Jul 11 12:18 PM
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Also, if your condition isn't one that the Peace Corps
                    wants to talk about (like the long term side effects of
                    taking Lariam), then they do a good job of preventing
                    injured volunteers from getting compensation. -- Felicia

                    > Peace Corps, especially its OIG, has a vested (and
                    > legitimate)
                    > interest in properly and efficiently paying for workers'
                    > compensation
                    > claims. Peace Corps also has a vested interest, not to
                    > mention a
                    > legal responsibility, to make sure that those of us who
                    > are eligible
                    > for workers' compensation benefits receive those benefits.
                    >
                    > I am concerned that the former may take precedence over
                    > the latter.
                    > It's unfortunate that Peace Corps refuses to advocate for
                    > those of us
                    > who suffer at the hands of OWCP. Peace Corps is the
                    > client agency
                    > and could have a powerful influence over OWCP if it chose
                    > to.
                    > Unfortunately, to date, they have shown absolutely no
                    > interest in
                    > doing so.
                    >
                    > Kevin
                    >
                    > --- In owcp@yahoogroups.com, FourDirect@... wrote:
                    >>
                    >> Hi group,
                    >>
                    >> Does anyone else feel a bit offended by the fact that
                    >> the whole
                    > OIG
                    >> investigation exists in order to serve the government
                    >> and save them
                    > money while
                    >> nothing is being done to help those of us who struggle
                    >> so hard to
                    > obtain what we
                    >> are entitled to in order to heal or survive because we
                    >> became ill
                    > while serving
                    >> our country? I was not medivaced but became ill shortly
                    >> after my
                    > departure
                    >> for a Peace Corps related set of illnesses for which I
                    >> have had a
                    > very
                    >> legitimate claim.
                    >>
                    >> Just wondering how the group feels about this issue. I
                    >> get so
                    > frustrated
                    >> that we have no advocates.
                    >>
                    >> And Kevin, I thank you so much for taking the lead on
                    >> managing
                    > this Listserv
                    >> so well and for so long. Do stay in touch and be well.
                    >>
                    >> I do hope you are still interested, Sue!
                    >>
                    >> Best Wishes,
                    >> Nancy Tongue
                    >> NYC (Chile 1980-82)
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Yahoo! Groups Links
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                  • FourDirect@aol.com
                    In a message dated 7/11/2007 1:41:44 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, rpcv@coolgoose.com writes: Sue, You mentioned that your caseworker said point blank that
                    Message 9 of 17 , Jul 11 4:46 PM
                    • 0 Attachment
                      In a message dated 7/11/2007 1:41:44 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, rpcv@... writes:
                      Sue,

                      You mentioned that your caseworker said point blank that until there is
                      a critical mass
                      nothing will change. The problem is how to reach that critical mass.
                      Since there is no centralized place (or person) that we can go to for
                      assistance, it's extremely difficult to even approach critical mass.
                      With 12 OWCP District Offices, 100 Senators, and 435 Representatives,
                      how much more decentralized could the system be? As you may know, the
                      former Peace Corps Director nixed the idea of an ombudsman to assist us.
                      I wonder if the new Director, Ron Tschetter, would be amenable to
                      resurrecting the idea. Maybe we should ask?

                      Kevin
                      Senator Schumer's office (US Senate (D) NY), which submits my medical claims, is also willing to investigate this issue but needs critical mass, as well. And I had a contact at NBC a while back who wished to do a feature on this but needed a number of people willing to come forward. That's when I began to want to get this group going and Kevin came forward with his willingness to do so. I don't believe anymore that Peace Corps will really ever become accountable to us unless they are somehow "shamed" into doing so, so to speak. I really wonder how many of there actually are and how we can go about bringing our concerns to the correct body to create positive change?
                       
                      I know that speaking for myself I have a tendency to just try to get my own health and life together when I am in crisis and then when that passes I just want to leave all this behind me and move my life forward. It is hard to find the right time in my own life to actually go forward in the correct manner and speak out. I am on some kind of road to health stabilization and am changing my career to accommodate my illnesses so maybe once I accomplish that I won't be so reticent to really move forward and consider going to press.
                       
                      Nancy Tongue
                       
                      Ideas?




                      Get a sneak peak of the all-new AOL.com.
                    • Kevin
                      Nancy, This is promising news. Do you know, or can you find out, what Senator Schumer would need to proceed? I wouldn t expect his office to do casework for
                      Message 10 of 17 , Jul 12 5:39 AM
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Nancy,

                        This is promising news. Do you know, or can you find out, what
                        Senator Schumer would need to proceed? I wouldn't expect his office
                        to do casework for former Volunteers across the country, but what
                        would be possible? Advocate for us as a group? Push for
                        Congressional hearings? Call for a GAO study of OWCP and/or PCMO?

                        I, for one, would be willing to provide his office anything I could
                        if he were willing to run with it.

                        Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

                        Kevin

                        --- In owcp@yahoogroups.com, FourDirect@... wrote:

                        Senator Schumer's office (US Senate (D) NY), which submits my medical
                        claims, is also willing to investigate this issue but needs critical
                        mass, as well...
                      • Felicia
                        If we are looking for volunteers who have been badly treated by the Peace Corps, the Lariam toxicity group that I m on has tons. While they add numbers,
                        Message 11 of 17 , Jul 12 11:11 AM
                        • 0 Attachment
                          If we are looking for volunteers who have been badly
                          treated by the Peace Corps, the Lariam toxicity group that
                          I'm on has tons. While they add numbers, though, they
                          take away credibility. Since next to none of us can prove
                          that Lariam caused our condition (although at least there
                          are studies out there now that prove that it causes the
                          brain damage that all of us suffer from), we look more
                          often like a bunch of cranks. Of course, the Peace Corps
                          doesn't help with that, since they are the first ones to
                          call us liars. -- Felicia

                          >
                          > In a message dated 7/11/2007 1:41:44 P.M. Eastern Standard
                          > Time,
                          > rpcv@... writes:
                          >
                          > Sue,
                          >
                          > You mentioned that your caseworker said point blank that
                          > until there is
                          > a critical mass
                          > nothing will change. The problem is how to reach that
                          > critical mass.
                          > Since there is no centralized place (or person) that we
                          > can go to for
                          > assistance, it's extremely difficult to even approach
                          > critical mass.
                          > With 12 OWCP District Offices, 100 Senators, and 435
                          > Representatives,
                          > how much more decentralized could the system be? As you
                          > may know, the
                          > former Peace Corps Director nixed the idea of an
                          > ombudsman to assist us.
                          > I wonder if the new Director, Ron Tschetter, would be
                          > amenable to
                          > resurrecting the idea. Maybe we should ask?
                          >
                          > Kevin
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > Senator Schumer's office (US Senate (D) NY), which submits
                          > my medical
                          > claims, is also willing to investigate this issue but
                          > needs critical mass, as well.
                          > And I had a contact at NBC a while back who wished to do a
                          > feature on this
                          > but needed a number of people willing to come forward.
                          > That's when I began to
                          > want to get this group going and Kevin came forward with
                          > his willingness to
                          > do so. I don't believe anymore that Peace Corps will
                          > really ever become
                          > accountable to us unless they are somehow "shamed" into
                          > doing so, so to speak. I
                          > really wonder how many of there actually are and how we
                          > can go about bringing
                          > our concerns to the correct body to create positive
                          > change?
                          >
                          > I know that speaking for myself I have a tendency to just
                          > try to get my own
                          > health and life together when I am in crisis and then when
                          > that passes I just
                          > want to leave all this behind me and move my life forward.
                          > It is hard to find
                          > the right time in my own life to actually go forward in
                          > the correct manner
                          > and speak out. I am on some kind of road to health
                          > stabilization and am
                          > changing my career to accommodate my illnesses so maybe
                          > once I accomplish that I
                          > won't be so reticent to really move forward and consider
                          > going to press.
                          >
                          > Nancy Tongue
                          >
                          > Ideas?
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > ************************************** Get a sneak peak of
                          > the all-new AOL at
                          > http://discover.aol.com/memed/aolcom30tour
                          >
                        • Kevin
                          Felicia, Please remind me: 1. Did you have symptoms during your PC service? If so, do you have substantially similar symptoms now or a documented progression
                          Message 12 of 17 , Jul 12 5:45 PM
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                            Felicia,

                            Please remind me:

                            1. Did you have symptoms during your PC service? If so, do you have
                            substantially similar symptoms now or a documented progression of those
                            symptoms?

                            2. Do you receive or have you received any medical or disability
                            benefits from OWCP?

                            Thanks.

                            Kevin

                            --- In owcp@yahoogroups.com, "Felicia" <felicia@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > If we are looking for volunteers who have been badly
                            > treated by the Peace Corps, the Lariam toxicity group that
                            > I'm on has tons. While they add numbers, though, they
                            > take away credibility. Since next to none of us can prove
                            > that Lariam caused our condition (although at least there
                            > are studies out there now that prove that it causes the
                            > brain damage that all of us suffer from), we look more
                            > often like a bunch of cranks. Of course, the Peace Corps
                            > doesn't help with that, since they are the first ones to
                            > call us liars. -- Felicia
                          • Felicia
                            ... Yes, I was eventually medically separated because of this problem. ... Yes. Lariam toxicity typically is cyclical, though, so I go through phases. ...
                            Message 13 of 17 , Jul 12 10:35 PM
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                              > 1. Did you have symptoms during your PC service?

                              Yes, I was eventually medically separated because of this
                              problem.

                              > If so,
                              > do you have
                              > substantially similar symptoms now or a documented
                              > progression of those
                              > symptoms?

                              Yes. Lariam toxicity typically is cyclical, though, so I
                              go through phases.

                              > 2. Do you receive or have you received any medical or
                              > disability
                              > benefits from OWCP?

                              Yes, I receive both time loss payments and
                              medical/psychiatric coverage from OWCP. This, I believe,
                              is because I made a huge stink when I was in DC before my
                              medical separation. I was so emotionally unstable that I
                              knew (and I was right) that there was no way that I'd be
                              able to work. I told them that I'd end up homeless if
                              they sent me away in that condition. The Peace Corps said
                              that my illness was because of my service, although the
                              psychologist in DC never mentioned Lariam. Here we are
                              three years later and my psychologist tells me not to even
                              think about work, as it will be years before I will have
                              recovered enough. Although in the last few months, I have
                              found that my ability to think is coming back, which gives
                              me hope that recovery is possible.

                              My problem with the OWCP is mainly small things, like
                              billing issues, combined with the larger problem of the
                              Peace Corps not talking about the damage that Lariam does.
                              It is an uphill battle to get anyone to take my condition
                              seriously, but I am far luckier than most Lariam victims.
                              Most cannot get any disability, have much more severe
                              psychological and health problems, and are still trying to
                              work. -- Felicia
                            • Kevin
                              Nancy, I m willing to provide my story. Is anyone else? Did the Senator s staff give you any idea of the numbers that would be required to move ahead with an
                              Message 14 of 17 , Jul 13 5:11 AM
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                                Nancy,

                                I'm willing to provide my story. Is anyone else? Did the Senator's
                                staff give you any idea of the numbers that would be required to move
                                ahead with an investigation?

                                Kevin

                                > --- In owcp@yahoogroups.com, FourDirect@ wrote:
                                Senator Schumer's office last fall said that they would like some
                                stories and numbers and then they would decide what they would do
                                regarding possible investigations.
                              • Kevin
                                Hi Felicia, Thank you for putting up with my questions. I know most of what I asked was redundant; I was just too lazy to read through several old messages to
                                Message 15 of 17 , Jul 13 7:45 AM
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                                  Hi Felicia,

                                  Thank you for putting up with my questions.  I know most of what I asked was redundant; I was just too lazy to read through several old messages to find the answers.

                                  The reasons I asked what I did, particularly those questions in item 1, was to get a feel for when and how the adverse effects of Lariam arise.

                                  In my opinion, you and other persons in your situation should not be asked by Peace Corps or OWCP to "prove" that Lariam was the underlying cause of your condition.  It's irrelevant.  As the OIG noted in his report, the [FECA] regulations provide for a presumption that any injury sustained by a Volunteer while he or she is located abroad has been sustained in the performance of duty, and any illness contracted by aVolunteer during Peace Corps service is proximately caused by the employment.

                                  Early on, I too was asked to prove that my condition (asthma) was caused by some environmental factor in Yemen.  OWCP quickly backed off when my Congressman at the time called them on it.  I don't know if claims examiners are so poorly trained that they don't know the special regulations for former Volunteers, or if trying to saddle the claimant with the burden of proof is just a tactic to get people to withdraw their claims.

                                  Kevin

                                  --- In owcp@yahoogroups.com, "Felicia" <felicia@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > > 1. Did you have symptoms during your PC service?
                                  >
                                  > Yes, I was eventually medically separated because of this
                                  > problem.
                                  >
                                  > > If so,
                                  > > do you have
                                  > > substantially similar symptoms now or a documented
                                  > > progression of those
                                  > > symptoms?
                                  >
                                  > Yes. Lariam toxicity typically is cyclical, though, so I
                                  > go through phases.
                                  >
                                  > > 2. Do you receive or have you received any medical or
                                  > > disability
                                  > > benefits from OWCP?
                                  >
                                  > Yes, I receive both time loss payments and
                                  > medical/psychiatric coverage from OWCP. This, I believe,
                                  > is because I made a huge stink when I was in DC before my
                                  > medical separation. I was so emotionally unstable that I
                                  > knew (and I was right) that there was no way that I'd be
                                  > able to work. I told them that I'd end up homeless if
                                  > they sent me away in that condition. The Peace Corps said
                                  > that my illness was because of my service, although the
                                  > psychologist in DC never mentioned Lariam. Here we are
                                  > three years later and my psychologist tells me not to even
                                  > think about work, as it will be years before I will have
                                  > recovered enough. Although in the last few months, I have
                                  > found that my ability to think is coming back, which gives
                                  > me hope that recovery is possible.
                                  >
                                  > My problem with the OWCP is mainly small things, like
                                  > billing issues, combined with the larger problem of the
                                  > Peace Corps not talking about the damage that Lariam does.
                                  > It is an uphill battle to get anyone to take my condition
                                  > seriously, but I am far luckier than most Lariam victims.
                                  > Most cannot get any disability, have much more severe
                                  > psychological and health problems, and are still trying to
                                  > work. -- Felicia
                                  >

                                • Felicia
                                  You are correct. I often point this out to volunteers who are trying to get medical coverage, as they often fixate on Lariam. My problem isn t that I don t
                                  Message 16 of 17 , Jul 13 10:51 AM
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                                    You are correct. I often point this out to volunteers who
                                    are trying to get medical coverage, as they often fixate
                                    on Lariam. My problem isn't that I don't get coverage,
                                    but that the Peace Corps is the largest user in the world
                                    of this medication and they deny that it causes problems.
                                    Most doctors just want to say that I have depression or
                                    that I'm neurotic and lazy. If the Peace Corps were to
                                    say "Yes, Lariam can cause long term problems" then I'd
                                    have better luck getting doctors to look harder at my
                                    problems. Luckily, my psychologist is convinced that
                                    Lariam has caused this weird collection of cognitive,
                                    emotional, vision and balance problems that I have. Does
                                    that make sense? Please feel free to ask more questions.
                                    -- Felicia

                                    > Thank you for putting up with my questions. I know most
                                    > of what I asked
                                    > was redundant; I was just too lazy to read through several
                                    > old messages
                                    > to find the answers.
                                    >
                                    > The reasons I asked what I did, particularly those
                                    > questions in item 1,
                                    > was to get a feel for when and how the adverse effects of
                                    > Lariam arise.
                                    >
                                    > In my opinion, you and other persons in your situation
                                    > should not be
                                    > asked by Peace Corps or OWCP to "prove" that Lariam was
                                    > the underlying
                                    > cause of your condition. It's irrelevant. As the OIG
                                    > noted in his
                                    > report, the [FECA] regulations provide for a presumption
                                    > that any injury
                                    > sustained by a Volunteer while he or she is located abroad
                                    > has been
                                    > sustained in the performance of duty, and any illness
                                    > contracted by
                                    > aVolunteer during Peace Corps service is proximately
                                    > caused by the
                                    > employment.
                                    >
                                    > Early on, I too was asked to prove that my condition
                                    > (asthma) was caused
                                    > by some environmental factor in Yemen. OWCP quickly
                                    > backed off when my
                                    > Congressman at the time called them on it. I don't know
                                    > if claims
                                    > examiners are so poorly trained that they don't know the
                                    > special
                                    > regulations for former Volunteers, or if trying to saddle
                                    > the claimant
                                    > with the burden of proof is just a tactic to get people to
                                    > withdraw
                                    > their claims.
                                    >
                                    > Kevin
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > --- In owcp@yahoogroups.com, "Felicia" <felicia@...>
                                    > wrote:
                                    >>
                                    >> > 1. Did you have symptoms during your PC service?
                                    >>
                                    >> Yes, I was eventually medically separated because of
                                    >> this
                                    >> problem.
                                    >>
                                    >> > If so,
                                    >> > do you have
                                    >> > substantially similar symptoms now or a documented
                                    >> > progression of those
                                    >> > symptoms?
                                    >>
                                    >> Yes. Lariam toxicity typically is cyclical, though, so I
                                    >> go through phases.
                                    >>
                                    >> > 2. Do you receive or have you received any medical or
                                    >> > disability
                                    >> > benefits from OWCP?
                                    >>
                                    >> Yes, I receive both time loss payments and
                                    >> medical/psychiatric coverage from OWCP. This, I believe,
                                    >> is because I made a huge stink when I was in DC before
                                    >> my
                                    >> medical separation. I was so emotionally unstable that I
                                    >> knew (and I was right) that there was no way that I'd be
                                    >> able to work. I told them that I'd end up homeless if
                                    >> they sent me away in that condition. The Peace Corps
                                    >> said
                                    >> that my illness was because of my service, although the
                                    >> psychologist in DC never mentioned Lariam. Here we are
                                    >> three years later and my psychologist tells me not to
                                    >> even
                                    >> think about work, as it will be years before I will have
                                    >> recovered enough. Although in the last few months, I
                                    >> have
                                    >> found that my ability to think is coming back, which
                                    >> gives
                                    >> me hope that recovery is possible.
                                    >>
                                    >> My problem with the OWCP is mainly small things, like
                                    >> billing issues, combined with the larger problem of the
                                    >> Peace Corps not talking about the damage that Lariam
                                    >> does.
                                    >> It is an uphill battle to get anyone to take my
                                    >> condition
                                    >> seriously, but I am far luckier than most Lariam
                                    >> victims.
                                    >> Most cannot get any disability, have much more severe
                                    >> psychological and health problems, and are still trying
                                    >> to
                                    >> work. -- Felicia
                                    >>
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
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