May 6

Declaring income while on OWCP wage loss

Let’s say your claim has been approved and you are receiving wage loss through OWCP. You have an obligation to let OWCP know when you make any income. It’s EXTREMELY important you do so as any problems here can go from being a civil matter to a criminal one quickly.

What counts as income may surprise you as well. There is a case where a person would remove snow and receive tips and got in trouble for not reporting the tips as income. Things get a bit tricky when a spouse has a business as well.

My suggestion is whether you believe something is income or not, you should send in any money coming in to OWCP so they are aware of you making money. You should also have proof that you sent this information in. If you don’t believe the money should be deducted from your wage loss because it’s not income than you can have a fight about it with the claims examiner (we can help with that) but at least there won’t be any criminal situation if you have are up front with everything.

We’ve seen too many criminal cases where an injured federal employee pleads guilty to avoid a possible stronger sentence at a trial when they never intended to do anything wrong. Please be careful and be on the conservative side when declaring income.

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