From the Office of President Mark Dimondstein
1300 L Street NW
Washington, DC 20005
July 7, 2020
To: All National Officers, State and Local Presidents
Re: COVID OWCP Guidance
Sisters and Brothers:
The work done by postal workers in this challenging time of pandemic has played a major role in keeping the country connected. But our essential work, even with all the positive union initiatives to gain the safest possible workplace, has come with a cost.
Thousands of postal workers have been diagnosed with COVID-19. The vast majority have recovered, but tragically some have succumbed to the disease. And clearly the pandemic is still on the rise.
Employees who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and reasonably believe they contracted the disease at work may file for workers compensation through OWCP. We previously sent out a simple guide and explanation to the national officers and NBAs. It was also posted on the website at https://d1ocufyfjsc14h.cloudfront.net/sites/default/files/covid19_claims_apwu.pdf. We know that proving these types of claims can be challenging and claimants may come to you seeking guidance.
I have asked brother Ike Floyd, a long term APWU local/state activist with decades of OWCP experience, to help provide you guidance when questions arise. You may contact him on questions strictly relating to COVID-19 OWCP issues by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and/or calling him at (202) 286-4175.
Brother Floyd is here to provide assistance to national, state, and local officers who have questions about these types of claims. He will not be interacting directly with the claimants, advising claimants, nor representing them in hearings or appeals. The goal is to give you guidance to answer claimants’ questions as they do the work required of them to develop their claims.
COVID-19 claims are new to OWCP. The APWU is not making any claims or guarantees (directly or implied) that an employee will have their claim accepted and approved by OWCP. This resource is only being made available to local or national officers to assist you in assisting the membership.