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Guide to Federal Workers Compensation Act

If you are a federal employee and have been injured while on work-related duty, you can maximize your compensation by filing a Federal Worker Compensation Claim. FECA (Federal Employees Compensation Act), was created as a way of providing federal workers compensation insurance due to work-related injuries and diseases. There are 12 federal workers compensation regional offices across the US which are responsible for investigating and processing workers claims. The Office of Workers Compensation Program is managed by the United States Office of Labor. The OWCP forms are issued by the employer to the injured employee who completes the forms which are then sent to the relevant offices.

What does the Compensation Cover?

Federal workers injured in the work place are entitled to payment of all medical bills and out-of-pocket expenses. Furthermore, they are entitled to choose their initial medical provider or federal medical center of their choice. If an injury prevent an employee from working, he/she will continue to receive full wages directly from the agency up to 45 days from the day of the injury. The federal workers compensation will continue to pay your lost wage at a reduced rate after the 45 days. As such, the injured employee will receive two-thirds of their pre-injured wages if there are no dependents.

Eligibility of the Compensation

The benefits are available for federal and postal workers if they are injured while performing work-related duties. However, if the injury was caused by intoxication, wilful misconduct, or intent to harm self, the worker may be denied the compensation. According to the federal workers compensation act, if a federal worker is killed on the job or as a result of the injury, his/her dependents are eligible for the compensation.

Steps to take to Receive Full Benefits

  1. Notify your supervisor. You can also go directly to your onset health office. If the injury is life-threatening call 911.
  2. Complete a Federal Employee’s Notice of Traumatic Injury. Furthermore, complete the OWCP form CA-1 Claim for Continuation of Pay/ Compensation form. In case you have a work-induced disease you should complete form CA-2 Notice of Occupational Disease and Claim for Compensation Form. 
  3. Submit your , CA-1 or CA-2 and ensure you keep a copy for your records. Your employer will send the forms to the appropriate office. 
  4. After sending the form, a representative from the regional office will investigate your claim. You will receive a letter which will inform you if your evidence is enough to proceed with your claim. You may also be asked to submit additional information if necessary. However, they may deny your claim but you have the right to file an appeal.
  5. Choose a physician and a medical provider of your choice to get treatment. It is important to choose a physician who is familiar with federal workers compensation procedures and forms or you may still choose to be treated in a federal medical center for easier processing of your compensation documents.

Time limit for Compensation

The Federal Employee Compensation Act (FECA) states that a claim for compensation must be filed within 3 years of the injury date. In case of a traumatic injury, the statutory time limitation begins from the injury date. For a latent condition, the time limitation begins when an injured employee with a compensable liability becomes aware.

If a claim is not filed within the required 3 years, the injured employer may still receive compensation if a notice of the injury was given within 30 days. This notice should also have been given in terms or a filed OWCP form. Moreover, if the employer had actual knowledge of the injury within 30 days after the occurrence of the injury, the compensation may still be paid.

How to Claim Compensation for Lost Wages

If you have a loss of wages as a result of receiving Continuation Of Pay (COP) or are in leave without pay (LWOP), you need to file a CA-7 form “Claim for Compensation” with your agency. You also need to complete a CA-7a form in case the period claimed on the CA-7 is intermittent. OWCP has a toll-free automated system that runs 24/7 and provides information regarding specific claims. In case you want to know about the status of the CA-7 filed, you will be provided with a 9-digit case file and social security number.

Schedule Awards Claim

An injured worker may have permanent loss of use of an organ or a certain body part and may submit a CA-7 form to request Schedule Award. In addition, the treating physician should also complete an impairment rating.According to the federal workers compensation act, the impairment rating can only be completed after the employee has reached maximum possible medical improvement as per the guidelines provided by the American Medical Association used to evaluate permanent impairment. Once the CA-7 form and the impairment rating have been received, they will be reviewed and sent to the district medical advisor (DMA) for further review.

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