The Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP) administers the Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA) and has sole adjudication authority for federal workers' compensation claims.
The Injury Compensation Program Administrator's office (ICPA), in conjunction with the Civilian Personnel Management Service, Injury & Unemployment Compensation Division, is responsible for monitoring your entitlement to the benefits outlined within the FECA and administered by the OWCP.
Your ICPA office is the WHS Labor and Management Employee Relations (LMER) Division. To reach the LMER office, call 571-372-3964.
Filing a Worker's Compensation Claim
If you voluntarily elect to file workers' compensation claim in relation to the reported accident, please complete the on-line OWCP Form CA-1 or CA-2, both available below, with your supervisor.
Withdrawing a Compensation Claim
Once a claim has been filed with the OWCP, you have the right to withdraw your workers' compensation claim, (but not the notice of injury) by so requesting in writing to OWCP through your responsible ICPA office at any time before OWCP determines eligibility for benefits.
Obtaining Medicial Treatment
You have a right to choose your treating physician. You must notify your supervisor of your preferred choice prior to scheduling an appointment. Any request by your supervisor or the occupational health clinic to be evaluated by medical clinic or contract physician must not interfere with your preferred physician appointment.
When an appointment with your preferred physician is requested for a traumatic injury, your supervisor may complete the front of Form CA-16, "Authorization for Examination and/or Treatment". In an emergency, where there is no time to complete the form, the ICPA office may authorize medical treatment by telephone and then forward Form CA-16 to the medical facility within 48 hours. Retroactive issuance of Form CA-16 is not allowed under any other circumstance. Your supervisor, or the ICPA office may refuse to issue a CA-16 if more than one week has elapsed since the injury occurred, or the treatment is based on an Occupational Disease or Illness.
If you require medical treatment because of a work-related occupational illness, it is recommended that you obtain care directly from a physician, preferably from a specialist in the indicated field. If OWCP accepts the claim, medical treatment required by the condition(s) accepted, including treatment received before acceptance may be reimbursed to you or your health insurance carrier by the OWCP after adjudication. Form CA-16 may not be used to authorize treatment for occupational disease or illness except in very unusual situations.
For each type of claim, you are responsible for submitting, or arranging for submittal of a medical report from the treating physician for every medical service provided to you resulting from the job-related injury. You must also submit medical evidence showing that the condition claimed is disabling when applying for wage loss benefits.
Medical reports from service providers must include the following:
Payment of Medical Bills
Your provider has the option of sending bills for injury-related treatment or services electronically or in paper form.
Providers that elect to submit bills electronically must enroll as a DOL provider by completing the Provider Enrollment Form at the following web address: https://owcp.dol.acs-inc.com/portal/pdf/Provider_Enrollment_Form_Final.pdf
OWCP will pay appropriate charges for medical treatment if your case is approved and the treatment was necessary for the job-related injury. OWCP applies a schedule of maximum allowable medical charges to pay work-related bills submitted by a provider of service. OWCP will only authorize payment of treatment or services that are related to an accepted work-related condition.
You are not responsible for paying the difference between the maximum charge set by the schedule for a particular treatment and the charge made by the provider for bills submitted on an OWCP accepted claim. You are, however, responsible for payment of medical bills resulting from an occupational disease or illness until a claim is accepted by the OWCP.
You may be reimbursed for employee-paid medical, surgical, and dental services using Form OWCP-1500, which includes instructions for submitting bills to OWCP. The provider must sign the form. For pharmacy expenses, you should use the Universal Claim Form, to include the name of the drug; name of prescribing physician and the date the prescription was filled.
Additionally, you must also complete Form OWCP-915 , Claimant Medical Reimbursement Form, and submit a copy with each OWCP-1500, or Universal Claim Form. Claims for hospital charges must be submitted on Form UB-92. All forms are available through the ICPA office, or at http://www.dol.gov/esa/owcp/dfec/regs/compliance/forms.htm. For payment reimbursement, it is recommended that you submit proof of payment, along with the proper forms. OWCP will accept signed statements by providers, a mechanical stamp showing receipt of payment, photocopies of canceled checks (both front and back), or a copy of a credit card receipt.
Both provider bills, and employee reimbursements must be submitted to OWCP within one year after the end of the calendar year in which the expense was incurred, the service was provided, or within a year after the end of the calendar year in which the treated condition was first accepted as compensable by OWCP.
You may review the status of bill submissions for your injury claim by entering the ACS website, and following instructions provided by that website. http://owcp.dol.acs-inc.com/portal/main.do
Entitlement to Continuation of Pay (COP)
Continuation of Pay (COP) is an extension of your regular pay for up to 45 calendar days of wage loss due to disability and/or medical treatment. Your employer pays COP only for claims filed for traumatic injuries. When you request COP, your employer must continue your pay unless it controverts COP for one of the following reasons:
Your employer may stop COP if
COP can be stopped if employment ends due to disciplinary action in situations where preliminary written notice of termination or other action was issued before the injury occurred and the termination or other action became final during the COP period.
Also, any COP granted to you after a claim is withdrawn must be charged to sick or annual leave or considered an overpayment of pay consistent with 5 U.S.C. 5584 at your option.
Light Duty Availability
Employees who are disabled from their regular jobs are expected to return to suitable light duty identified by the supervisor, or the ICPA office. If light duty work is available and offered, you must notify your attending physician and request him/her to specify the limitations and restrictions that apply. Thereafter, immediately advise your supervisor or the ICPA office of the limitations and restrictions imposed by your physician.
If offered light duty work within the limitations and restrictions imposed by your attending physician, you are obligated to return to duty unless you are entitled to, and request leave under FMLA. If you choose not to accept the light duty job offer, you may not be entitled to COP, or wage loss compensation from the OWCP.
Claims for Compensation
Compensation payments may be made after wage loss begins and the medical evidence shows that you cannot perform the duties of your regular job. For a traumatic injury, compensation is payable after the 45 days of COP have ended and three waiting days have elapsed. For traumatic injuries where there is no entitlement to COP, and for non-traumatic injuries, compensation is payable after three waiting days have elapsed. In either instance, no waiting period is required when permanent disability exists, or when the disability causing wage loss exceeds 14 days.
Compensation is paid at two-thirds of your pay rate if you have no dependents, or three-fourths of the pay rate if you are married or have one or more dependents. The pay rate is based on your pay on the date of injury, the date disability began, or the date of recurrence. The only regular deductions from compensation are for your share of health benefit premiums, optional life insurance, and post-retirement basic life withholdings if you are enrolled in these plans.
In order for you to claim compensation, you must be in Leave Without Pay – Injured On Duty (LWOP (KD)) status with your employer.
Form CA-7, Claim for Compensation, is used to claim compensation for loss of pay. Each payment of compensation must be supported by a medical report from a physician that shows you are disabled for work during the period for which compensation is claimed. It is your responsibility to arrange for submittal of such medical reports.
Instead of Leave without Pay (LWOP [KD]), you may use sick or annual leave to cover disability periods. However, this is not required or advised. Doing so can cost you a significant amount of money and delay the repurchase of leave used. It is often preferable to use LWOP [KD] and claim compensation instead.
The leave buy-back process allows you to repurchase annual and sick leave subject to your employer’s guidelines. OWCP does not require that your employer grant your leave buy-back request. This is solely the decision of each individual agency. When your claim is approved and medical evidence shows that you were unable to work because of the injury during the period claimed; you may request a "leave buy-back." You must submit Forms CA-7, CA-7a and CA-7b to OWCP through the ICPA office.
You will owe your employer the difference between the amount paid for leave, which is 100 percent of your usual wage rate, and the amount paid for compensation, which is two-thirds or three-fourths of the wage rate. When this difference is paid, your employer’s payroll office will then restore the annual and sick leave to your account and replace them with LWOP (KD) hours. For each 80-hour increment of restored annual and sick leave that is converted to LWOP (KD), your leave account may be reduced by 4 hours of sick leave and either 4, 6 or 8 hours of annual leave dependent upon your leave accrual rate. The repurchase of leave can also affect your income taxes.
The FECA provides compensation for the permanent loss or loss of use of specified members, functions, and organs of the body. Payment is made for a specified number of days or weeks according to the severity of the impairment. This kind of payment is called a schedule award.
Penalty for False Claims
Whoever knowingly and willfully falsifies, conceals, or covers up a material fact, or makes a false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation, or makes or uses a false statement or report knowing the same to contain any false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry in connection with the application for or receipt of compensation or other benefit or payment under subchapter I or III of chapter 81 of title 5, shall be guilty of perjury, and on conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine under this title, or by imprisonment for not more than 5 years, or both; but if the amount of the benefits falsely obtained does not exceed $1,000, such person shall be punished by a fine under this title, or by imprisonment for not more than 1 year, or both. ~Federal law (18 U.S.C. 1920)
Privacy Act Information
While workers' compensation records are protected from release under the Privacy Act, your employer is considered a party to the claim. The Worker's Compensation office may receive information in your file under the "routine use" provision of the regulations under which the Privacy Act is administered. Such information may include medical reports. The ICPA office is expected, however, to handle this information with care and to restrict access to those with a specific need to have it.
For More Information
For additional information, call the Labor and Management Employee Relations (LMER) office at 571-372-3964.
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