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Re: [owcp] Update on OIG Investigation

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  • 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 1 of 17 , Jul 11, 2007
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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 2 of 17 , Jul 11, 2007
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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 3 of 17 , Jul 11, 2007
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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 4 of 17 , Jul 11, 2007
          • 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 5 of 17 , Jul 11, 2007
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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 6 of 17 , Jul 11, 2007
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                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 7 of 17 , Jul 11, 2007
                • 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 8 of 17 , Jul 11, 2007
                  • 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 9 of 17 , Jul 12, 2007
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                      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 10 of 17 , Jul 12, 2007
                      • 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 11 of 17 , Jul 12, 2007
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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 12 of 17 , Jul 12, 2007
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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 13 of 17 , Jul 13, 2007
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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 14 of 17 , Jul 13, 2007
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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 15 of 17 , Jul 13, 2007
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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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