Baltimore Co. resident seriously injured on the job receives large back pay after contacting congressman years later
BALTIMORE — Imagine getting hurt on the job, but then being repeatedly denied back pay, not for months but for years.
Vogel Hill, a Baltimore County resident, said that’s what happened to him after he was seriously injured on the job.
Hill said he was working as a police officer at a federal agency in northern Virginia in 2017 when an automatic barricade slipped off the ground just below his cruiser.
“I’m touched,” Hill said. “The truck probably bounces about five to seven times, in fact literally bounces like on the ground.”
Hill said the pain was so bad he couldn’t return to work.
“I saw the doctor at the agency and she kept me away indefinitely,” Hill said. “She touched me in places like I was in pain and said there was no way, I don’t know what’s wrong with you, but there’s no way you can come back anytime soon.”
As Hill tried to overcome the medical issues, he said there was another challenge.
The agency he worked for stopped paying him and workers’ compensation was denied.
“It was a real struggle for two years,” Hill said. “I got a lot of letters like this call, like foreclosure or repossession, all of which were coming in and stuff, it was happening quite frequently.”
After years of trying to figure it out for himself, Hill said he called his congressman – Kweisi Mfume – and within days more than $80,000 in back pay had been deposited into his Bank account.
“Everything is normal now. Everything has paid off or is back to normal. It’s been a big help,” Hill said. “The congressman’s office said it gets about 2,000 requests a year from people who need help getting to federal agencies like the Social Security Administration or even the IRS.”
Members of Congress can use their influence to help the very people who appointed them on issues with federal agencies, the need to expedite passports, or even getting a recommendation for students who want to attend an institution. military, like the Naval Academy.
“435 congressional districts, so you’re multiplying 2,000 or 4,000 times that. That’s a lot of people asking for help and needing someone to really step in and champion their cause,” the member of the Mfume Congress.
Congressman Mfume says he hopes Hill’s story will encourage more people to call their representatives when they need help with federal matters.
“Bureaucracies tend to breed confusion and confusion tends to set up a rather nonchalant spirit at times,” Congressman Mfume said. “And so, as long as there are people in a position to do the right thing, it’s going to sit on this desk. It’s going to sit on this desk, it can sit on this desk, and unless that there’s someone there, pushing everything through, it gets stuck like that, and it happens a lot.”