The Employee Compensation Appeals Board has ordered OWCP to reinstate the wage-loss compensation of a long time federal law enforcement officer who was injured in the line of duty.
His employer had offered him a temporary light duty assignment which his doctors had stated was outside of his physical capabilities. OWCP made an informal determination that he could do the job and cut off his benefits.
The ECAB ruled that before terminating wage loss benefits, OWCP has to find the offered light duty position suitable. It must then give adequate notice to the claimant of its finding and give him an opportunity to respond. It did none of those things in this case.
Therefore, the Board overturned the Office’s decision stating, “[t]he Office did not follow proper procedures to determine that the modified job offered to appellant was suitable.” It further stated, “The notice and termination decision in this case appear as aberrations to established Office procedures and the well-defined precedent of the Board.”