It’s all about getting injured employees back to work.

Postal employees injured on the job can return to work even if they can’t perform their regular jobs — so long as the work is within their medically defined restrictions. That’s the idea behind the U.S. Postal Service’s Limited Duty and Rehabilitation programs, which is essentially two programs:

  • Limited Duty assists injured workers who are temporarily unable to perform their regular work functions get back to work in another assignment;
  • Rehabilitation (developed with the Department of Labor) helps employees with permanent disabilities by placing them in a rehabilitation assignment.

USPS developed the programs to help manage escalating workers’ compensation costs, which in fiscal year (FY) 2017 totaled $1.27 billion, with an additional $76 million in administrative fees.

Our recent audit report found the Postal Service effectively managed Limited Duty and Rehabilitation programs in two of its operating areas (Southern and Pacific), but could also make some improvements to strengthen controls and efficiencies in processes.

Among other things, our recommendations said management should provide EHS system report training and also implement a control to validate that work-assignment searches are conducted. Also, USPS should assess the feasibility of implementing an automated (or other) solution to promote process efficiency and satisfy the special job bank requirement.

Have you been through the Limited Duty and Rehabilitation programs? What worked well for you? Are there ways to improve the program?

Comments (23)

We welcome your comments related to the topic on this page. Complaints about the Postal Service, including lost, stolen or mishandled mail, that are unrelated to the content on this page, will not be posted. Please visit the Contact Us page for information on where to file formal complaints with our agency or the Postal Service.

Leave a comment

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
  • anon

    Aside from the postal service the DOL needs oversight into the claims they accept which directly affects the postal budget.

    Sep 17, 2018
  • anon

    What happens when a rural carrier is out due to an occupational disease and no limited duty is available? Does the USPS then do continuation of pay? Rural Carriers are a paid differently than other crafts. We are on an evaluated system. Under theses circumstances can the USPS have a Rural Carrier do tasks in another craft?

    Aug 24, 2018
  • anon

    OIG, Please recognize that we as employees don't want to be injured in the first place. But please acknowledge that working for the usps, especially as carriers is an injurious profession in itself. Some days and nights my body aches in parts or as a whole. The constant bending, pushing, squatting, lifting, sorting, casing and delivering of mail and/or parcels is physically debilitating. The nitpicking about the tracking of us on our routes in the performance of our duties is unreal. You can't even use the bathroom, sort and/or organize your mail/packages or check on your customers to better serve them without being hassled about that time used when you get back to the office. That's one mental aspect.

    Aug 21, 2018
  • anon

    I worked for the u s postal service as a city letter carrier for over 6 year's. For over 2 years I was intentionally discriminated against because my EEO complaint of discrimination and class member protected class. The 2 EEO complaints management falsifying by changing conflicts of the appearance and interests, between union and management. They decide the out come of the complaints and 12 griavence which in the annual report shows no records of griavences. During the period of FMLA and OWCP management falsifying time record's as a results of they evil mind's. When I notifying the usps that I m coming back from leave postmaster send me a letter notify me that I was remove because I was on awol. This is the kind of peo people that postal service have for the community.

    Jun 16, 2018
  • anon

    Ouch,no one cares..but US. Those who work in the trenches,while those who work in their ivory towers,,crunch numbers,then ordering us,claiming the job can be completed,,in sucu&,such of time. H BEST part!!!?? Marriage Mail takes no more time to be delivered!!push,push,push,,,God forbid your injured,,,,cause then it's your own fault. And,,as I recall,,the 'union?' In AZ... Is a JOKE,,,not the funny laugh kind hahaha,,yea. Going postal use to be offensive to me,as a mailcarrier. Until enough experience,with certain supervisors,,,shhhh,,good luck to all you still serving sentences with postal carreers. I was fortunate to get out,before my integrity was compromised.

    Jun 15, 2018
  • anon

    I was harrassed to the point I quit resigned in 6/2014 under threat of being fired to save my name I quit, I served 25 years soon as my hips went bad, get rid of me. They kept giving me letters of warnings for every little thing and telling me I was too slow. Still I tried and they took my route away. They let me have a route they had me under the gun were going to fire me I just didn't want to deal with it anymore.

    Jun 12, 2018
  • anon

    How come I sat at home since September 2017 and just recently went back to duty part time. I’ve been harassed and told CCA can do better than me. That’s just not fair. I have almost 20 years service and they said until you’re 100% sure stay home. I recently changed OWCP doctors and due to his mistakes on the CA17 I at least got back to part time work!

    Apr 02, 2018
  • anon

    I was a part of the NRP program. I had a shoulder injury and had been taken off mail delivery by my doctor. There was a lot of things that I could do in the office that made up my 8 hour day. I was given the general clerk job with duties such as claims, answering phones, supplies and working the window. Everything was fine until a Postmaster was assigned to our office that wanted me out. I tried to tell the assessment team NRP that it was not done for the right reasons because I was at that time working a full time window job for over a year. Oh well we are moving you farther away and will be doing the same thing. So when I left they posted my job I would have been the highest bidder. So I went to another office farther away and can only work 5 hours a day and hoped to have Dept of Labor pay me the rest..Long story short. Postmasters doing things to cost the organization more money because they didn't like someone needs to be looked into. I ended up with 22,000 in my pocket because she wanted to be spiteful. I told the team before this happened and they believed the Postmaster..Oh well some of us try to be decent people..

    Mar 30, 2018
  • anon

    There is a serious culture problem inside the United States Postal Service. It is a tremendous organization that provides an amazing level of service. The range of career offerings is impressive. As a city letter carrier for the past twenty five years, delivering the mail to our customers that we serve has been a privilege. Specifically to the topic at hand, two things spring to mind; One is that I doubt a majority of my coworkers would respond that the US Postal Service treats it’s employees as an asset. It’s a business, we all recognize that. In an ideal world, it is a fair arrangement. Carriers, and other crafts as well as managers all have a job to do. We’re all adults here. However, in too many places, and too many times, people entrusted in postitions of authority frequently conduct themselves with a manner that demonstrates their belief that employees are liabilities. You can pretend like what I just wrote is not true, or that the employees treated that way probably deserved it, but you immediately become part of the problem when you ignore abuse, hostility, or just plain lack of managing abilities that are far too persuasive. If employees don’t have the skills, training, or knowledge to perform, than providing them the opportunity to develop those talents is management 101. The second part that concerns me is the lack of regard for declining abilities and taking ownership for injuries caused by this job. Any reasonable human being would acknowledge the wear and tear that walking twelve miles a day with a twenty pound bag on one shoulder five times a week for thirty years will likely cause in a substantial percentage of subjects. I see it all the time. It happened during the NRP program, and it happens frequently in many places. Not to even mention all the severe injuries that occur in even the most safety conscious minded environments. I have had literally 1000 aches from this job since I began in 1991. Literally, by the grace of G-D, none stayed with me more than a day in almost every case. Today, with maybe twenty two years to go, my health is perfect. But every step of the approximately 28,000 steps I take daily is a risk. It sure we be nice to know that the company that I and many have given their time, energy, and strength to will honor their commitments when called to. Reading here and elswhere what some legitimately damaged and broken carriers (and other employees) must endure is wrong. I don’t think there is one easy fix or answer to this problem that I just pointed out. That does not exclude the fact that there is a problem. Maybe that should be the work your group and others in authority focus your efforts. Sincere thanks for reading this far, Ken

    Mar 30, 2018
  • anon

    We have three employees who have been on worksmencomp for more two years, they have not step a foot in the office nothing has been done to them.

    Mar 23, 2018
  • anon

    I agree it is smart to get IOD employees back to work..BUT how it is done is what's important too. After being off work for 4 yrs the USPS said they had work for me in my medical restrictions. since then has been a struggle. In doing everything possible I could to NOT break my restrictions, IT is now 5 yrs later and I have lost any help from OWCP,,My only alternative I have is early disability retirement. I will be broke and injured. USPS has to use common sense in doing this.Employees know that usps and common sense is an oxy moron. We are degraded when injured,some think we don"t want to work,even though my work history was very good. My opinion is the only way I could work and many others is IF they start a work at home program,which many government agencies have.USPS has NONE. Most injured employees can't get out of bed every day let alone drive due to pain or medications. I gave my heart and soul to the USPS for 17 yrs. when injured on no fault of my own,I was made to feel lazy and a tossed out under the NRP process.Then the offers made me feel even worse that I couldn't do. Not to mention the financial stress is daily.Watch judging others,while there are a few that may take advantage or don't want to work. 99% don't want to be broke,,lose their homes or be in pain daily all because we were injured doing the job for the USPS under no fault of our own. Job offers have to cover the issue of getting injured workers to work if doctor says they can't drive. But laws state is employees problem. Be fair when offering these jobs,Please! don't just use this as a means to get rid of us.

    Mar 21, 2018
  • anon

    I'm preparing to get a return to duty with restrictions offer. My biggest restriction? I can not drive or use my dominant arm at all. Luckily I can get a ride to and from the PO, but it's only at certain hours when my "chauffeur" is available. The doctor was in shock when I told him he must write that in the paperwork or they would make me drive. There is very little information I can find on workers comp for usps. There were others in my office out on injuries, but I never saw them working in any other capacity.

    Aug 25, 2018
  • anon

    In our office Postmaster gave limited duty (phones)to a carrier who hurt himself on a second job. While she would not let 3 owcp clerks back on the clock until full recovery.

    Mar 21, 2018
  • anon

    Agree that USPS should look for ways to fulfill their responsibilities to those whose bodies have given out in the line of duty after years of being human pack mules. Sadly this companies history shows that management will not only exploit these arrangements but will train management in how to use this system against injured workers. OIG should focus on the nepotistic circles that plague most areas of the country which leave ridiculously disproportionate workloads on craft employees depending on who they know. Those being overburdened to the point of injury in order to guarantee a member of these circles 2-3 hour lunches their entire careers shouldn't be kicked in any further when nature takes its course and their bodies wear out. You want to cut waste, then start doing random nation wide GPS audits on stations without prior notice and hold those covering up waste accountable. The same manager that praises a carrier who had 2-3 hours downtime for coming back on time will scold the next carrier in line for going over everyday ignoring the fact that they carry twice the deliveries as the individual praised.

    Mar 20, 2018
  • anon

    AMEN

    Mar 21, 2018
  • anon

    I run the occupational medicine program for CityMD we have 100 sites in the New york New jersey region and see many USPS injuries in our sites I am looking for direction to a contact who can help me streamline our treatment plans and understand the the return to work and light duty capabilities of the USPS for our USPS patients

    Mar 20, 2018
  • anon

    Thanks for trying DR. BUT good luck on that..take it from an injured worker fighting for rights since 2010. the medical issues are a nightmare.. They only accept certain words..But thanks for caring and trying to help employees in your state

    Mar 21, 2018
  • anon

    You've got to be joking. The escalating workers compensation costs & additional administrative fees were due to the NRP process the USPS chose to use against past injured employees. This decision destroyed the lives of some 130,000 people. Its high time you own your mistakes & be held accountable.

    Mar 20, 2018
  • anon

    Amen, Marie. I still can't get over the fact that upper management treats themselves royally, with cars, homes, expense accounts, travel accounts, professional sports tickets, country club memberships, etc., yet the PO is loosing so much money they had to illegally force injured employees out the door to fend for themselves. And now they want to make it sound like bringing us back is their own idea. Despicable. The ones responsible for this NRP 12 yrs ago will never be held accountable, all enjoying a wealthy retirement.

    Mar 24, 2018
  • anon

    absolutely true,,thank you as one of the 130,000

    Mar 21, 2018
  • anon

    Marie, I couldn’t agree more. The same people they are returning are the very people they walked out as no work available.

    Mar 20, 2018
  • anon

    Limited duty jobs worked, where was the OIG when PO started this nightmare?

    Mar 20, 2018
  • anon

    No one wanted to do a thing about it. It took a long time to find lawyers who would take on the PO. Nightmare is right. So many people have lost so much, some have died before seeing the victory.

    Mar 29, 2018

Recent Comments

  • 1 day 3 hours ago
    Last month I filed an insurance claim about a package that had not arrived. I had a tracking number that told me that my order was delivered, specifically to my mailbox, on August 27th. When I looked...
  • 1 day 11 hours ago
    Aside from the postal service the DOL needs oversight into the claims they accept which directly affects the postal budget.

Monthly Archive