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Fwd: sick returned Peace Corps Vols

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  • Ellen Michelson
    Hello, everyone - I was in Group 19 (TEFL), in L viv, 2000-2002. I m posting the following here so anyone who could benefit from this info can learn about
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 9, 2007
      Hello, everyone - I was in Group 19 (TEFL), in L'viv,
      2000-2002. I'm posting the following here so anyone
      who could benefit from this info can learn about this
      other Yahoo! group.

      Most of us have had good-to-excellent experiences with
      the Peace Corps med folks in Kyiv, but our
      post-service experiences have varied widely. Over the
      years, some volunteers who incurred serious
      disabilities during their Peace Corps time have not
      been served well by the bureaucracy once they have
      returned home.

      My personal experience was not great. All I needed
      was several months of physiotherapy, which made a huge
      difference. Working the Office of Workers'
      Compensation Programs (owcp, hence the name of the
      Yahoo! group) bureaucracy, however, was time-deadening
      to the extreme.

      I have 'signed' (electronically) the letter below. If
      you join the group, you will learn how to add your
      name and support to the effort. I personally hope the
      efforts of this group can make a difference for those
      RPCVs who are deserving of assistance they have not as
      yet received.

      Best from Ellen
      --- FourDirect@... wrote:

      > From: FourDirect@...
      > Date: Mon, 13 Aug 2007 14:50:30 EDT
      > Subject: sick returned Peace Corps Vols
      > Dear all,
      > I am a member of the online listserve group and many
      > of you used to dialog
      > with us but undoubtedly became busy trying to get
      > well, get your lives back
      > together or just moving forward.
      > I hope some of you will not feel offended that I am
      > writing to you
      > personally but am not posting your email addresses
      > publically back on our listserve
      > just so you know.
      > Rather, I am just reaching out because right now a
      > member is putting the
      > final touches on a letter that he has been invited
      > to send to Senator Judd Gregg
      > and we are trying to get as many signatures as we
      > possibly can to demonstrate
      > how many of us there are who have fallen through
      > the cracks of the system.
      > We are trying to get this out ASAP so if you are
      > interested in having fellow
      > suffering returned PCV Kevin add your name he will
      > do so in the next couple of
      > days.
      > Please respond to: _owcp@yahoogroups.com_
      > (mailto:owcp@yahoogroups.com) to
      > add your name on the list and/or to continue to
      > dialog with us in whatever way
      > you feel comfortable.
      > Best Wishes,
      > Nancy E. Tongue, NYC
      > Chile 1980-82
      > [date]
      > The Honorable Judd Gregg
      > United States Senate
      > 393 Russell Senate Office Building
      > Washington, DC 20510
      > Dear Senator Gregg:
      > We the undersigned are members of an online
      > community of Returned Peace Corps
      > Volunteers, and most of us have or have had
      > workers’ compensation claims
      > with the U.S. Department of Labor. We are writing
      > to you because we are
      > concerned about the treatment that we or our fellow
      > members have received from the
      > Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs, its
      > subcontractor ACS, and the Peace
      > Corps Office of Medical Services. We are also
      > concerned about inefficiencies
      > in the federal workers’ compensation system that
      > result in delayed claims
      > processing, lack of continuity of claimant medical
      > care, an inability or
      > unwillingness to
      > respond to requests by claimants and to treat them
      > with dignity and respect,
      > etc., as well as poor management of millions of
      > dollars of taxpayer funds.
      > As you undoubtedly know, the Office of the Inspector
      > General of the Peace
      > Corps is "conducting a review of post-service
      > applications by former Peace
      > Corps staff and Volunteers for benefits under the
      > Federal Employees Compensation
      > Act.” While we are supportive of the Inspector
      > General's efforts to
      > varying degrees, we believe that a parallel
      > investigation of the agencies involved
      > in the provision of workers’ compensation benefits
      > to Returned Peace Corps
      > Volunteers would identify weaknesses in the system
      > that, if corrected, would
      > better promote economy and efficiency and prevent
      > waste, abuse, and fraud.
      > Claimants would receive better service, and
      > taxpayers would reap the benefits of a
      > more efficient bureaucracy.
      > Accordingly, we are asking you to consider
      > requesting a Government
      > Accountability Office study of how well the Office
      > of Workers’ Compensation Programs,
      > ACS, and the Peace Corps Office of Medical
      > Services meet the medical needs of
      > Returned Peace Corps Volunteers who are eligible for
      > benefits under the
      > Federal Employees Compensation Act because of
      > injuries sustained or illnesses
      > contracted during their tours of duty. We would
      > like the study to include, but
      > not necessarily be limited to, an evaluation of the
      > following:
      > 1. The commitment and progress on the part of the
      > Office of Workers’
      > Compensation Programs (OWCP) to honor its Pledge to
      > Customers and implement its
      > Mission and Vision statements.
      > 2. The adequacy of the qualifications and training
      > of OWCP claims examiners,
      > supervisory personnel, managers, and executives.
      > 3. The accuracy and timeliness with which OWCP
      > adjudicates claims, and OWCP
      > and ACS make payments to claimants and their medical
      > providers.
      > 4. The degree to which OWCP provides proper
      > oversight to ACS.
      > 5. The relationships of OWCP with ACS and the Peace
      > Corps Office of Medical
      > Services (OMS), and whether those relationships are
      > to the benefit or
      > detriment of claimants.
      > 6. Improvements, if any, that have been implemented
      > by OWCP because of
      > recommendations contained in previous Government
      > Accountability Office or Inspector
      > General reports.
      > 7. The performance and capability of OMS to assist
      > claimants in their
      > dealings with OWCP, both immediately post-service
      > and later if the need arises.
      > In addition to a Government Accountability Office
      > study, we would like you
      > to consider asking Peace Corps to appoint a person
      > to act as an ombudsman or
      > advocate for Returned Peace Corps Volunteers who
      > encounter problems in
      > obtaining the post-service medical care to which
      > they are legally entitled.
      > Thank you very much for your time and attention,
      > and for considering our
      > requests. We look forward to your reply. If you
      > have any questions or need
      > further information, please do not hesitate to
      > contact us.
      > Sincerely,
      > On behalf of myself and the other persons whose
      > names appear below.
      > Kevin Clark
      > 152 May Street
      > Canaan, NH 03741
      > [other signatories will appear here--name, city and
      > state, email address]

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