Attention Injured Employees

It has come to our Local’s attention that management, at the Cincinnati District, are once again sending some Limited Duty employees requests to submit “updated” medical documentation;
much like they did about 1 ½ years ago. These medical requests are identical and actually ask the exact same questions from 1 ½ years ago. 

The four questions are: 

1. What is the work related diagnosis? 
2. Have all residuals of this injury resolved? Yes___ No___ 
3. If no, what is the expected date? _____________ 
4. If work restrictions are required for the work related condition, please describe the restrictions in detail…. 

It then goes on to ask the Physician’s name, phone number, address, signature; etc. 
As I wrote last year in one of our Newspaper editions, we [APWU] do not agree 
with management’s additional attempts to procure this information
simply because they should have this information already at their disposal.

As I also noted in one of my Newspaper articles, I recommend all injured employees to 
see their treating physician every six months, but in the very least, they are required 
to visit their treating physician once a year. 

At these visits, the claimant should have their treating physician complete a CA-17 Duty
Restrictions and CA-20 Physician’s Report. 
What is ironic about these “updated” medical requests is that all four answers can be 
found in the CA-20 and the CA-17. The first three questions can be answered in questions 
seven and twenty of the CA-20 and the restriction, per the fourth question, can obviously be found in the CA-17.

So, why are they asking some Limited Duty employees for this “updated” medical information?
Possibly because they [USPS] don’t feel like wasting their time and getting it themselves 
from the OWCP; or maybe they’re trying to “catch” people whose previous medical documentation
is different now than before; or maybe they’re trying to find new and creative ways to put
people back on their bid jobs; or maybe the claimant legitimately doesn’t have any updated 
medical information in the last year.

I have spoken with Cheryl Thomas, the new (A) Manager of Health and Resource Management (HRM),
and she has told me that the new head of the medical unit has determined that this is what
they want to do and that these letters were only sent out to employees with whom the medical
unit deemed needed “updated” medical documentation. 

She also went on to say that she would consider any medical documentation received from your
treating physician within the last six months or so would be suffice and that for employees
who needed an extension (especially if they have to make an appointment with a Specialist) 
in order to obtain this “updated” medical documentation, to simply call her office at (513) 684-5216
and she would more than likely grant them an extension.

If you find yourself in a position that you must obtain “updated” medical documentation,
please be very careful. As I previously stated, it is my humble opinion that this new 
and “updated” medical documentation will be closely scrutinized by Postal management to
find even the smallest of discrepancies so as to see how they can apply it to adversely affect the employee.

Again, it is my humble opinion that if, for instance, your new CA-17 with your work restrictions
differs from your previous CA-17, or your new CA-17 doesn’t wholly validate your current medical
job offer, or if there is even the slightest opening in your CA-17 that might allow you to work on
let’s say the DBCS machines; then they [Postal Management] will take advantage of this opportunity.

So again, be very careful if/when you submit new and/or updated medical documentation so that it 
accurately represents your work restrictions and what postal jobs you are capable of performing.
It isn’t enough to simply give your treating physician a blank CA-17 and tell them to copy it from the last CA-17.
YOU need to check it. YOU need to validate that it accurately represents what you can and can’t 
do within your specific job. And again, it is up to YOU to make sure there are no mistakes, errors,
or ways that management can get around your physicians intentions. If you need any help with this,
or are not sure that your medical documentation will pass management’s litmus test, simply ask myself
or one of our other Union Stewards and we will be glad to assist.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me
in the Union Office at (513) 684-5560 or via cell phone at (513) 207-1555. 

Walt Luthy
OWCP Officer 
American Postal Workers Union
Greater Cincinnati Area Local 164



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