You are on page 1of 4

August 30, 2007

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 and deficiencies in the federal workers' compensation system that result in:

1. Delayed claims processing;

2. Lack of continuity in claimant medical care;

3. An inability or unwillingness on the part of the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs


to respond to requests by claimants and to treat claimants and their medical providers with
dignity and respect;

4. Difficulties on the part of claimants in finding local medical providers who will accept federal
workers’ compensation cases; and

5. 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.
The Honorable Judd Gregg
August 30, 2007
page 2

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 ability of OWCP to properly assess the medical needs of Returned Peace Corps
Volunteers, whose conditions may be very different than those the agency typically sees;

5. The degree to which OWCP provides proper oversight to ACS;

6. 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;

7. Improvements, if any, that have been implemented by OWCP because of recommendations


contained in previous Government Accountability Office and Inspector General reports; and

8. 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.
The Honorable Judd Gregg
August 30, 2007
page 3

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. Several of our members would be happy to provide their case histories if
that would be helpful to you.

Sincerely,

On behalf of myself and the other persons whose names appear below

Kevin Clark
152 May Street
Canaan, NH 03741

Eleanor Sue Trone Sue Murray Irene Stotts


Naples, FL Oregon City, OR Montpelier, VT
susietrone@mac.com bunstg@hotmail.com irenestotts@comcast.net

Nancy Tongue Christine Berna Link Laura Perovich


New York, NY Washington, DC & Hanover, NH
FourDirect@aol.com Heidelberg, Germany lperovich@gmail.com
clberna@mac.com

Felicia Kenney Charles Vogl Sylvia Fagin


Eugene, OR New Haven, CT Montpelier, VT
felicia@panix.com zamcharles@hotmail.com sylviamalia@yahoo.com

Andy Sterioff Salissa Wahlers Margaret Wallace


Minneapolis, MN Shelburne, VT Burlington, VT
andstereo@hotmail.com salissa76@hotmail.com dropjohn@hotmail.com

Abbey Brown Jay Cevelo Brian Clappier


Alexandria, LA Indianapolis, IN Milwaukee, WI
abbeyrd99@yahoo.com jaysweep@yahoo.com bjclappier@gmail.com
The Honorable Judd Gregg
August 30, 2007
page 4

Melissa Hutchinson Lisa Sammet


Roseland, VA Craftsbury, VT
melissahutchinson@hotmail.com jenniferrabbit@hotmail.com

Elin Melchior Kathleen Purdy


Bristol, VT Richmond, VT
elin@gol.com kgpurdy@yahoo.com

Ellen Michelson Denice Dublin


Toronta CANADA Huntington, NY
(US Citizen) denicedublin@yahoo.com
ellem1ch@yahoo.com

Heidi Fassnacht
E. Thetford, VT
heidi.fassnacht@montshire.org