Health, disability fraud problematic among postal workers

Questionable disability claims draw concerns as mail volume declines

It's no secret that the United States Postal Service has struggled financially over the last several years. But even with fewer employees and a decline in mail volume, healthcare and worker compensation fraud among postal workers is a key concern, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Letter carriers around the country have been caught bilking the system by collecting thousands in federal healthcare and disability payments. Recently, a Baltimore woman, Colette Lee, collected $250,000 in federal benefits after failing to disclose her medical history that included injuries from four auto crashes. Last month, Lee pleaded guilty to making false statements and agreed to pay back the money. She also faces up to five years in prison.

In Oregon and California, Postal Service employees who were receiving worker's compensation for injuries that supposedly preventing them from working were found to have been concealing income from other jobs.

According to The Sun, the Office of Inspector General has opened 693 cases in fiscal year 2013 and 592 in fiscal year 2012, preventing millions in future losses. Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein told the newspaper that the Postal Service has more disability fraud problems than other agencies because the nature of the work leads to more disability claims in general.

The Social Security Administration has come under fire for "woefully insufficient and inadequate" disability fraud prevention, FierceHealthPayer: AntiFraud previously reported. A bill proposed by U.S. Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas) would help the SSA better coordinate its fraud investigation efforts.

For more:
- read the Baltimore Sun article

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