USPS Workers' Comp Costs Rising

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Workers' compensation costs have risen 29 percent since 1998, contributing to financial troubles at the U.S. Postal Service, the agency's Office of the Inspector General yesterday told a subcommittee of the House Committee on Government Reform in written testimony.

USPS workers' compensation costs for 2001 were $731 million, up from $567 million in 1998, inspector general Karla W. Corcoran told the subcommittee, which is examining issues of the Office of Workers' Compensation Program for federal employees. This directly affects the postal service because "unlike other federal agencies, these costs are paid from postal revenues," she said.

Corcoran said in her testimony that as the largest participant in the program, the USPS accounts for about one-third of federal workers' compensation costs and that controlling these costs is a priority for postal service management.

Corcoran's office is working with the Department of Labor to find ways to address issues facing the workers' compensation program.

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