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Re: Senator Dodd: Follow-Up to Message #539

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  • Kevin
    Anyone can read the postings in our message archive at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/owcp . How do they find us? One way is through google or another search
    Message 1 of 11 , Nov 3, 2007
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      Anyone can read the postings in our message archive at
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/owcp .

      How do they find us? One way is through google or another search
      engine. For example, if one uses the search terms "owcp rpcv" a number
      of sites come up that link to us. Another way to learn of us is to
      receive a forwarded posting from our group. That's how Ms. McGrogan
      received posting #539 so quickly. I didn't forward the posting to her
      directly, but rather sent it to key contacts at Chris Dodd's Senate and
      Campaign offices.


      --- In owcp@yahoogroups.com, FourDirect@... wrote:
      >
      > Kevin,
      >
      > I have no idea how one accesses postings such as #539. Can you inform
      me?
      > I'm listserve ignorant. And I'll let folks know as soon as Sen.
      Schumer's office
      > returns with info. They always take a few months.
      >
      > Nancy
    • Kevin
      I spoke with Josh Blumenfeld, the staffer who deals with Peace Corps issues, late yesterday afternoon. I gave him an overview of some of our concerns about
      Message 2 of 11 , Nov 3, 2007
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        I spoke with Josh Blumenfeld, the staffer who deals with Peace Corps
        issues, late yesterday afternoon. I gave him an overview of some of
        our concerns about OWCP/Peace Corps.

        We are going to set up a phone call next week to discuss the matter in
        greater detail. I sent him a copy of the Gregg letter to give him some
        additional background. He is going to talk with his colleagues who
        deal with OWCP and ask them to join the conversation.

        I'll keep you informed. If there is anything specific that you'd like
        me to address during next week's phone call, please let me know asap.
        Also, if it turns out that a conference call is a possibility, would
        you like to be a part of it?

        Kevin

        --- In owcp@yahoogroups.com, "Kevin" <owcp2004@...> wrote:

        > In all fairness to Senator Chris Dodd and his staff, I received a
        > phone call and the following email from the Senator's Acting Chief of
        > Staff ...
      • Christine Link
        Hi, Kevin, Thanks for your email. An issue I d like to have raised is benefits for RPCV s who live overseas. I have access to American doctors (that s not the
        Message 3 of 11 , Nov 3, 2007
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          Hi, Kevin,
          Thanks for your email.

          An issue I'd like to have raised is benefits for RPCV's who live overseas. I have access to American doctors (that's not the issue), but it looks like I may have to go back on an expensive medication for my arthritis. Normally in the US, I could get CVS to run it through workers comp directly so I never had to pay for any part of it, but that's not an option here in Germany. I also can't get it mail order as the medicine (a weekly injection) has to be refrigerated. I can't afford this medication (about $1400 per month). How am I supposed to get treated in this scenario?

          I'm not sure if this is the kind of issue you were requesting (please feel free to not use it if it doesn't fall into what you were going to discuss with Sen. Dodd's office--just thought I'd take a chance in case it did!).

          Cheers from Germany!

          Christine Link

          P.S. Also, when you get a chance, if you could send me the mailing addresses of your contacts (the IG, etc.) that you had sent phone numbers for earlier, that would be great.

          On Saturday, November 03, 2007, at 10:04AM, "Kevin" <owcp2004@...> wrote:
          >I spoke with Josh Blumenfeld, the staffer who deals with Peace Corps
          >issues, late yesterday afternoon. I gave him an overview of some of
          >our concerns about OWCP/Peace Corps.
          >
          >We are going to set up a phone call next week to discuss the matter in
          >greater detail. I sent him a copy of the Gregg letter to give him some
          >additional background. He is going to talk with his colleagues who
          >deal with OWCP and ask them to join the conversation.
          >
          >I'll keep you informed. If there is anything specific that you'd like
          >me to address during next week's phone call, please let me know asap.
          >Also, if it turns out that a conference call is a possibility, would
          >you like to be a part of it?
          >
          >Kevin
          >
          >--- In owcp@yahoogroups.com, "Kevin" <owcp2004@...> wrote:
          >
          >> In all fairness to Senator Chris Dodd and his staff, I received a
          >> phone call and the following email from the Senator's Acting Chief of
          >> Staff ...
          >
          >
        • Kevin
          Christine, I will forward a copy of your message to Josh Blumenfeld of Senator Chris Dodd s office prior to my phone conversation with Josh and his colleagues.
          Message 4 of 11 , Nov 4, 2007
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            Christine,

            I will forward a copy of your message to Josh Blumenfeld of Senator
            Chris Dodd's office prior to my phone conversation with Josh and his
            colleagues. Your message will help to put a personal face on our
            struggles with OWCP. I think that's important whether or not this
            phone conversation turns out to be a forum for our individual issues.

            Kevin

            P.S. I've emailed you the mailing address for the PC Officials,
            together with some relevant email addresses and fax numbers. I hope
            they're helpful.

            --- In owcp@yahoogroups.com, Christine Link <clberna@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi, Kevin,
            > Thanks for your email.
            >
            > An issue I'd like to have raised is benefits for RPCV's who live
            overseas. I have access to American doctors (that's not the issue),
            but it looks like I may have to go back on an expensive medication
            for my arthritis. Normally in the US, I could get CVS to run it
            through workers comp directly so I never had to pay for any part of
            it, but that's not an option here in Germany. I also can't get it
            mail order as the medicine (a weekly injection) has to be
            refrigerated. I can't afford this medication (about $1400 per month).
            How am I supposed to get treated in this scenario?
            >
            > I'm not sure if this is the kind of issue you were requesting
            (please feel free to not use it if it doesn't fall into what you were
            going to discuss with Sen. Dodd's office--just thought I'd take a
            chance in case it did!).
            >
            > Cheers from Germany!
            >
            > Christine Link
            >
            > P.S. Also, when you get a chance, if you could send me the mailing
            addresses of your contacts (the IG, etc.) that you had sent phone
            numbers for earlier, that would be great.
          • Kevin
            I spoke with Josh Blumenfeld and two of his colleagues earlier today. They are going to make some inquiries on our behalf, starting with the offices of
            Message 5 of 11 , Nov 7, 2007
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              I spoke with Josh Blumenfeld and two of his colleagues earlier
              today. They are going to make some inquiries on our behalf, starting
              with the offices of Senator Gregg and the Peace Corps Inspector
              General.

              What I need from YOU are copies of letters that you have received
              from Peace Corps or OWCP that demonstrate just how unhelpful those
              agencies are. For example, I'm going to submit to Senator Dodd's
              office a recent letter from Michelle K. Brooks, the Director of Peace
              Corps' Office of Congressional Relations, in which she states:

              " ... Given that Mr. Clark's claim is an accepted claim, the Peace
              Corps cannot provide any further assistance. At this point in the
              process, we can only recommend that he follow up directly with DOL."

              This is precisely the type of brush-off that members of our group
              have gotten from Peace Corps over and over again. (I realize that
              I'm preaching to the choir!)

              I am aware that you may possess letters that contain personal
              information that you don't want to release. If that's the case,
              please consider whether you could black out the personal information
              and leave the tone of the letter intact.

              Many thanks.

              Kevin
              owcp2004@...



              --- In owcp@yahoogroups.com, "Kevin" <owcp2004@...> wrote:
              >
              > I spoke with Josh Blumenfeld, the staffer who deals with Peace
              Corps
              > issues, late yesterday afternoon. I gave him an overview of some
              of
              > our concerns about OWCP/Peace Corps...
            • Andrew Sterioff
              The staff of Senator Klobuchar, Greg and his assistant Sophia, who gave me his direct line to Senator Klobuchar s office are going to bring the RPCV OWCP issue
              Message 6 of 11 , Nov 9, 2007
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                The staff of Senator Klobuchar, Greg and his assistant Sophia, who gave me his direct line to Senator Klobuchar's office are going to bring the RPCV OWCP issue up with Senator Klobuchar and see if she will meet with me.  I will let you know more when Greg calls me back later today.  If I get a meeting with the Senator I am going to need some statistics and documentation from our group.  Right now I have a number of 1300 who are registered, but that is just the tip of the iceberg according to a previous e-mail.  I will let you know more once Greg and Sophia call back later today.
                 
                Andy Sterioff

                ----- Original Message ----
                From: Kevin <owcp2004@...>
                To: owcp@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Wednesday, November 7, 2007 10:04:00 AM
                Subject: [owcp] Re: Senator Dodd: Follow Up

                I spoke with Josh Blumenfeld and two of his colleagues earlier
                today. They are going to make some inquiries on our behalf, starting
                with the offices of Senator Gregg and the Peace Corps Inspector
                General.

                What I need from YOU are copies of letters that you have received
                from Peace Corps or OWCP that demonstrate just how unhelpful those
                agencies are. For example, I'm going to submit to Senator Dodd's
                office a recent letter from Michelle K. Brooks, the Director of Peace
                Corps' Office of Congressional Relations, in which she states:

                " ... Given that Mr. Clark's claim is an accepted claim, the Peace
                Corps cannot provide any further assistance. At this point in the
                process, we can only recommend that he follow up directly with DOL."

                This is precisely the type of brush-off that members of our group
                have gotten from Peace Corps over and over again. (I realize that
                I'm preaching to the choir!)

                I am aware that you may possess letters that contain personal
                information that you don't want to release. If that's the case,
                please consider whether you could black out the personal information
                and leave the tone of the letter intact.

                Many thanks.

                Kevin
                owcp2004@yahoo. com

                --- In owcp@yahoogroups. com, "Kevin" <owcp2004@yahoo. com> wrote:
                >
                > I spoke with Josh Blumenfeld, the staffer who deals with Peace
                Corps
                > issues, late yesterday afternoon. I gave him an overview of some
                of
                > our concerns about OWCP/Peace Corps...



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              • Kevin
                Andy, 1300 is the approximate number of open FECA claims that Peace Corps had as of March 2007. OIG reported that statistic to Congress, so I suspect it s a
                Message 7 of 11 , Nov 12, 2007
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                  Andy,

                  1300 is the approximate number of open FECA claims that Peace Corps had
                  as of March 2007. OIG reported that statistic to Congress, so I
                  suspect it's a very good estimate.

                  Do you know what statistics you are looking for? If so, please send me
                  an email and I'll try to point you in the right direction.

                  Kevin

                  --- In owcp@yahoogroups.com, Andrew Sterioff <apsterioff@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > The staff of Senator Klobuchar, Greg and his assistant Sophia, who
                  gave me his direct line to Senator Klobuchar's office are going to
                  bring the RPCV OWCP issue up with Senator Klobuchar and see if she will
                  meet with me. I will let you know more when Greg calls me back later
                  today. If I get a meeting with the Senator I am going to need some
                  statistics and documentation from our group. Right now I have a number
                  of 1300 who are registered, but that is just the tip of the iceberg
                  according to a previous e-mail. I will let you know more once Greg and
                  Sophia call back later today.
                  >
                  > Andy Sterioff
                • Andrew Sterioff
                  I thought we might be able to tell them the lengths of time some of these claims have been open. I think that would show how slow the process is, but it sounds
                  Message 8 of 11 , Nov 12, 2007
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                    I thought we might be able to tell them the lengths of time some of these claims have been open. I think that would show how slow the process is, but it sounds like those statistics are unavailable.  In any case, I gave Greg in Senator Klobuchar's office our group web address so he can see what we are talking about.  He said he would take a look and would let the Senator know of our issue.  He also said that as long as the Department of Labor was helping, then that was quicker than trying to get a meeting with the Senator who might or might not be able to immediately help.  He said his line was always open to me if I didn't get far with the Department of Labor and my current Worker's Compensation claim.
                     
                    Andy Sterioff

                    ----- Original Message ----
                    From: Kevin <owcp2004@...>
                    To: owcp@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Monday, November 12, 2007 7:23:58 AM
                    Subject: [owcp] Re: Senator Klobuchar: Follow Up

                    Andy,

                    1300 is the approximate number of open FECA claims that Peace Corps had
                    as of March 2007. OIG reported that statistic to Congress, so I
                    suspect it's a very good estimate.

                    Do you know what statistics you are looking for? If so, please send me
                    an email and I'll try to point you in the right direction.

                    Kevin

                    --- In owcp@yahoogroups. com, Andrew Sterioff <apsterioff@ ...> wrote:
                    >
                    > The staff of Senator Klobuchar, Greg and his assistant Sophia, who
                    gave me his direct line to Senator Klobuchar's office are going to
                    bring the RPCV OWCP issue up with Senator Klobuchar and see if she will
                    meet with me. I will let you know more when Greg calls me back later
                    today. If I get a meeting with the Senator I am going to need some
                    statistics and documentation from our group. Right now I have a number
                    of 1300 who are registered, but that is just the tip of the iceberg
                    according to a previous e-mail. I will let you know more once Greg and
                    Sophia call back later today.
                    >
                    > Andy Sterioff



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                  • Kevin
                    Hi Andy, I m afraid that statistics are going to be difficult to come by. The Peace Corps Office of Medical Services, the OIGs of Peace Corps and Labor, and
                    Message 9 of 11 , Nov 13, 2007
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                      Hi Andy,

                      I'm afraid that statistics are going to be difficult to come by. The
                      Peace Corps Office of Medical Services, the OIGs of Peace Corps and
                      Labor, and OWCP may all have relevant data, but located these data
                      and getting the agencies to part with them would be a major
                      undertaking. Since some of the statitics would be unflattering,
                      Peace Corps and OWCP would have a variety of reasons, including
                      political ones, to keep the statistics out of the public eye.

                      I'm not sure that the length of time that a claim has been open
                      necessarily means much. (The length of time that a claim has been
                      open and receiving inadequate attention is another matter!) I'd like
                      to see statistics such as: 1. Average length of time that it takes
                      to process a bill; 2. Accuracy in processing bills; 3. Average length
                      of time that it takes to authorize or reauthorize medical procedures;
                      4. Percentage of telephone calls and letters that are responded to in
                      the promised amount of time ... I could go on and on.

                      The lack of good data points to the need for a GAO study like the one
                      we asked Senator Gregg (and other Members of Congress) to pursue.

                      Kevin


                      --- In owcp@yahoogroups.com, Andrew Sterioff <apsterioff@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > I thought we might be able to tell them the lengths of time some of
                      these claims have been open. I think that would show how slow the
                      process is, but it sounds like those statistics are unavailable. In
                      any case, I gave Greg in Senator Klobuchar's office our group web
                      address so he can see what we are talking about. He said he would
                      take a look and would let the Senator know of our issue. He also
                      said that as long as the Department of Labor was helping, then that
                      was quicker than trying to get a meeting with the Senator who might
                      or might not be able to immediately help. He said his line was
                      always open to me if I didn't get far with the Department of Labor
                      and my current Worker's Compensation claim.
                      >
                      > Andy Sterioff
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