GO >  PEN HOME | Forums | SiteMap | On The Job Injury | Resource Gateway | Member Central | Mutual Transfers | Change Your Address  | Search

 

USPS Discounts
PostalEASE Login
Employee Deals
LiteBlue
EAP4you.com

MORE RESOURCES
All Forums
SiteMap
USPS Forms
Forms and More
Change Your Address
2007 USPS Holidays
The Belden Factor
The Lewis Letters
Letter Carrier Duties
Our Postal Stores
Employee Rights Law
Photos: One - Two
Join Free - Go Here
Insurance Section
Employee Death
Retirement
USPS Benefits
Earnings Statement

 

 

SCHEDULE AWARDS
What are Scheduled Awards? Schedule awards are for an OWCP accepted condition arising out of an on-the-job injury. The awards are generally for the permanent loss or loss of use of a scheduled member of the body and usually not for the body as a whole. We have devoted an entire page to Scheduled Awards - please Go Here

In order to file a claim for a Scheduled Award you must file Form CA-7. Obtain that form here.

 

Need Help With PPI's?

See Doc Ellis and Staff

 

 

OWCP Knowledge Base
What OWCP Doesn't Want You to Know

PLEASE READ
We have just learned (6/8/09) that OWCP has started using the AMA Guides 6th Edition. Until we can update all of our resources please understand that wherever the AMA Guides 5th Edition is written here, just know that the AMA Guides 6th Edition is now required. PEN

If you have ever been injured at work or you suffer any type of medical problem that affects your job or employment then you may be aware of the problems that confront you in regard to filing workman's compensation claims and forms. In order to help you with your claim we have generated this knowledge base composed of articles, sources, links, and related material that we have gathered from OWCP websites, Dept. of Labor sources, and other valuable Internet resources. We hope you benefit from our special section. Please use this knowledge base in addition to our Injury - Medical Section. Make certain to Read Our Disclaimer.

TOPICS COVERED

What to Do When Injured While On Duty - Back to Topics

1. See this page at the Dept. of Labor: http://www.dol.gov/esa/regs/compliance/owcp/ca-11.htm

2. In Case of Injury, obtain first aid or medical treatment even if the injury is minor. While many minor injuries heal without treatment, a few result in serious prolonged disability that could have been prevented had the employee received treatment when the injury occurred.

For traumatic injuries, ask your employer to authorize medical treatment on Form CA-16 BEFORE you go to the doctor. Take Form CA-16 when you go to the doctor, along with Form OWCP-1500, which the doctor must use to submit bills to OWCP. Your employer may authorize medical treatment for occupational disease ONLY if OWCP gives prior approval.

Submit bills promptly, as bills for medical treatment may not be paid if submitted to OWCP more than one year after the calendar year in which you received the treatment or in which the condition was accepted as compensable.

3. Report Every Injury to your supervisor. Submit written notice of your injury on Form CA-1 if you sustained a traumatic injury, or Form CA-2 if the injury was an occupational disease or illness. (Forms CA-1 and CA-2 may be obtained from your employing agency or OWCP.)

Form CA-1 must be filed within 30 days of the date of injury to receive continuation of pay (COP) for a disabling traumatic injury. COP may be terminated if medical evidence of the injury- related disability is not submitted to your employer within 10 workdays. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ENSURING THAT SUCH MEDICAL EVIDENCE IS SUBMITTED TO YOUR EMPLOYING AGENCY. Form CA-2 should also be filed within 30 days. Any claim which is not submitted within 3 years will be barred by statutory time limitations unless the immediate superior had actual knowledge of the injury or death within 30 days of occurrence.

4. Establish the Essential Elements of Your Claim. You must provide the evidence needed to show that you filed for benefits in a timely manner; that you are a civil employee; that the injury occurred as reported and in the performance of duty; and that your condition or disability is related to the injury or factors of your Federal employment. OWCP will assist you in meeting this responsibility, which is called burden of proof, by requesting evidence needed to fulfill the requirements of your claim.

5. File a Claim for Compensation. File Form CA-7, Claim for Compensation on Account of Traumatic Injury or Occupational Disease, if you cannot return to work because of your injury and you are losing (or expect to lose) pay for more than three days. Give the form to your supervisor seven to ten days before the end of the COP period, if you received COP. If you are not entitled to COP, submit Form CA-7 when you enter or expect to enter a leave without pay status. All wage loss claims must be supported by medical evidence of injury-related disability for the period of the claim.

If you continue to lose pay after the dates claimed on Form CA-7, submit Forms CA-8 Claim for Continuing Compensation on Account of Disability, through your employer to claim additional compensation until you return to work or until OWCP advises they are no longer needed. You are not required to use your sick or annual leave before you claim compensation.

If you choose to use your leave, you may, with your agency's concurrence, request leave buy-back by submitting Form CA-7 to OWCP through your employing agency. Any compensation payment is to be used to partially reimburse your agency for the leave pay. You must also arrange to pay your agency the difference between the leave pay based on your full salary and the compensation payment that was paid at 2/3 or 3/4 of your salary. Your agency will then recredit the leave to your leave record.

6. Return To Work As Soon As your Doctor Allows You To Do So. If your employing agency gives you a written description of a light duty job, you must provide a copy to your doctor and ask if and when you can perform the duties described. If your agency is willing to provide light work, you must ask your doctor to specify your work restrictions. In either case, you must advise your agency immediately of your doctor's instructions concerning return to work, and arrange for your agency to receive written verification of this information. COP or compensation may be terminated if you refuse work which is within your medical restrictions without good cause, or if you do not respond within specified time limits to a job offer from your agency.

In appropriate cases, OWCP provides assistance in arranging for reassignment to lighter duties in cooperation with the employing agency. In addition, injured employees have certain other specified rights under the jurisdiction of the Office of Personnel Management, such as reemployment rights if the disability has been overcome within one year.

7. Tell Your Family about the benefits they are entitled to in the event of your death. For assistance in filing a claim they may contact your employing agency's personnel office or OWCP.
Back to Topics

Right to see own physician - Back to Topics

Any employee who gets injured on the job has the right to see their own physician. (ELM Section 545.4)

545.4 Implementing Medical Care

545.41 Emergency Treatment An employee needing emergency treatment must be sent to the nearest available physician or hospital or to a physician or hospital chosen by the employee or the employee’s representative. The physician who provides emergency treatment is not considered the employee’s initial choice of physician.

545.44 Outside Treatment in a Nonemergency Situation In a nonemergency situation, if an employee does not accept treatment at a Postal Service occupational health services office or contract facility, the employee may select a physician or hospital within approximately 25 miles of his or her home or worksite. The physician’s office should be contacted by telephone by the control office or control point to determine if the physician is available and will accept the employee for treatment under FECA. If not, the employee must select another qualified physician or hospital. A postal supervisor is not authorized to accompany the employee to a medical facility or physician’s office in nonemergency situations

Editor's note: Over the years I have witnessed many employees injured at work and fail to request to see their own physician. The people at medical units and US Postal Service contract physicians (in my opinion) are not acting in the best interest of the employee but in the interest of the USPS and that is, to get injured employees back to work as soon as possible regardless of the well-being of the an employee.

TIMELINESS Federal agencies are required by regulation to submit an employee's Notice of Injury (Form CA-1 or CA-2) within 10 working days (or 14 calendar days) of receiving it from an employee, if lost time from work or medical expenses are claimed or anticipated [20 CFR 10.110(a)].

Regulations require that the CA-7 should be submitted no later than 5 working days (or 7 calendar days) after its receipt from the employee [20 CFR 10.112(b)]. This prompt submission is critical if OWCP is to be able to serve injured workers' needs, and especially to ensure that medical bills can be processed timely. Back to Topics

Traumatic, Occupational, or Recurrence Injuries - Back to Topics
- Traumatic Injury - An event or a series of events occurring within a single work shift. file CA-1 See: 2-2  Traumatic Injury
- Occupational Injury - An event or a series of events occurring over a period of time greater than a single work shift. File CA-2. See 2-3  Occupational Disease
- Aggravation - An aggravation occurs if preexisting condition is worsened, either temporary or permanently, by an injury arising in the course of employment. File CA-1 or CA-2.
  See 3-5  Causal Relationship
- Recurrence of disability - See 2-4  Recurrences
Back to Topics

CA-17: Is management allowed to make any remarks or comments on the CA-17?
Management is not allowed to make any remarks or comments on the CA-17. There is a box on the form marked "t. Other (Describe)." All the management personnel is supposed to enter in that box is any other usual work requirements of the employee not covered by "a. thr s." on form 17. Back to Topics

CA-2a: Should I file a CA-2a for Consequential Conditions?
It has been recommended by most that you should... Never file a CONSEQUENTIAL claim on a CA-2a. A consequential condition is expanding a claim to cover conditions which were not originally present but arising out of the original injury. The standard of a CA-2a will lead you to prove a worsening of the original condition, so if used, OWCP will deny the claim for the consequential condition. Sources recommend not filing a CA-2a except on the original condition unless there is strong objective findings to support a worsening of the condition. Back to Topics

CA-35: What is a CA-35?
Evidence Required in Support of a Claim for Occupational Disease. Download here: CA-35 - Back to Topics

Doctor Shopping: What is Doctor Shopping?
OWCP is not allowed to "doctor shop". In some cases OWCP may be suspected of doctor shopping in order to locate a physician who will supply a ruling in their favor. There have been ECAB rulings on this issue. The case on doctor shopping is Carlton Owens, 36 ECAB 608 (1985) - Back to Topics

USPS Contacting Your Doctor:  Can USPS contact my doctor? - Back to Topics
(Anderson Letter)

The Postal Service has received a slap on the wrist from the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, following a USPS manager's instructions to staff that they could contact an employee's doctor by fax or e-mail in an apparent attempt to skirt a prohibition against "telephone contact" by postal officials with an injured worker's doctors.

In a staff memo, USPS Manager for Safety and Risk Management Larry Anderson stated that Postal Service officials could communicate with an injured worker's doctor by fax or e-mail, and could even talk by phone or in person if the doctor's office initiated the contact. However, in July OWCP responded by reminding USPS that such contacts are prohibited.

In a letter to Anderson, Sheila Williams, OWCP's Acting Director of Federal Employees' Compensation, stressed that faxes and e-mail "most certainly are written communications and are subject to the limitations outlined in 20 CFR 10.506." Williams also clarified that "any and all" such telephone contacts that are "initiated by the agency, regardless of the subject", even in response to follow-up requests are "entirely prohibited."

Claimants need to impress upon their doctors that the agency is only allowed to communicate with them in writing [never verbally], concerning you work limitations imposed by the effects of the injury, possible job assignments, and when and/or if possible return to limited or full duty. This can be found in the regulations and a copy should be given to your doctor, see:  20 CFR Part 10, Section 10.506

"Written communication," she added, "regardless of how it is transmitted to the physician, is limited to information regarding fitness for duty." Also, Williams' said, "a copy of all written communications to and from a physician must be provided to OWCP and the employee." Williams' letter concluded by asking the Postal Service to "instruct staff to cease" all such communications with employees' doctors, and to provide "prompt documentation that this correction has been made." Back to Topics

City Letter Carrier Duties:  If I am a city letter carrier how do I state my duties? - Back to Topics
Unknown Source

OFFICE DUTIES: As a letter carrier, there are many physical duties and requirements. The day begins routing letters into a 6ft. shelf "U" shaped case, with approximately 540 deliveries, which are in route delivery sequence. On an average day this entails approximately 1.5 to 2.5 hours of continuous standing, twisting, turning, and reaching over the shoulder. A carrier is also required to lift, from the floor, trays of unsorted mail weighing between 17 and 29 pounds. The handbook titled City Delivery Carriers'--Duties and Responsibilities, states that "the accurate and speedy routing of mail is one of the most important duties of a carrier; you must be proficient at this task". After routing letters, "flat-size" mail; magazines and small parcels are routed into the same "U" shaped mail case, with approximately 540 deliveries, which are in route delivery sequence. This is done for approximately .5 to 1.5 hours, this function also requires continuous reaching over the shoulder, bending, standing, stooping, twisting and lifting from ounces to 2 lbs. Parcels for the route are then taken from a wheeled hamper which stands 2 ft. 4 inches high, and put onto a 1 foot cart in delivery sequence order. The wood bottom of the hamper is supported by bungie cords which allows the hamper bottom to fall and rise as the weight is placed in or taken out This consists of bending, twisting, turning, stooping, and lifting parcels weighing from ounces up to 70 lbs. The mail is then withdrawn from the letter and flat case and bundled into separations for delivery. This entails standing, twisting, turning, bending, and reaching. The letters, flats, and small parcels are then put into 4.5 lbs plastic trays, the trays are placed onto a wheeled cart which stands 1 foot off the floor which consists of a lot of bending, standing, stooping, twisting and lifting. An average route, on an average day, has approximately 2-3 full, hand sorted plastic trays of mail (an average tray of mail weighs approximately 50 lbs, 3- 4 trays of pre-sorted (DIPS) mail and 25 to 50 parcels which can weigh up to 70lbs. The cart is then wheeled to the vehicle for loading. The trays and parcels are then lifted out of the hamper and loaded into the vehicle. This consists of bending, lifting, twisting, turning and stooping.

DELIVERY DUTIES: The delivery part of the day then begins. The routes are park and loop routes, which consists of parking and "looping" delivering up one side of the blocks then back down the other side returning to the park point to pick up more mail and small parcels for delivery or moving to another park point. The delivery separation is put into a carrier satchel, which weighs 5 lbs (empty), for delivery. The satchel is carried on the shoulder supported only by the shoulder strap, which allows the satchel to swing freely. A delivery separation consists of 1 relay and weighs an average of approximately 15 lbs. However, this weight can and does weigh up to 35 lbs. on heavy volume days. The weight of the mail slowly decreases as it is delivered. Delivering mail consists of walking, walking up and down stairs, walking on uneven terrain, twisting, turning, bending, reaching, reaching above the shoulder and stooping. Some of the delivery separations have a larger saturation of deliveries, steps and mail than others. This is done for approximately 5 to 7 hours in all types of weather conditions. Mail trays are constantly being shifted around throughout the day as they are moved from the floor of the truck onto the delivery tray to be emptied which involves bending, lifting, twisting, turning, and stooping Letter carriers tend to lean to the opposite side of the satchel to balance the weight, which subjects the body to abnormal posture. The heavier the satchel the more force needed to compensate for the weight. Back to Topics

Communicating With Congressional Reps - Contacting Your Congressional Representatives -  Back to Topics
Note: In the past, often times, when the federal injured workers went to their congressional representatives for help they were brow beaten by staffers and other times by the congressional representatives. This time around, you have the reference material that tells them, that under the provisions of this material, the US Constitution and a Supreme Court decision, they are required to help you. It is suggested that you hand carry this material to your congressional representatives office. Don't be surprised if they do not know that this material exists.

CONGRESSIONAL ETHICS MANUAL
Chapter 7 CASEWORK CONSIDERATIONS
Abridged Highlights

Members and staff of the House often assist constituents in their dealings with administrative agencies by acting as facilitators or ``ombudsmen.'' Members may properly communicate with agencies on behalf of constituents: * to request information or status reports; * to urge prompt consideration of a matter based on the merits of the case; * to arrange for appointments; * to express judgment on a matter (subject to ex parte communication rules); and/or * to ask for reconsideration, based on law and regulation, of an administrative decision.

The Constitution guarantees all citizens the right to petition the Government for redress of grievances.

The most logical point of contact is one's elected representative. Furthermore, Members of Congress continually must monitor Government programs and the administration of public laws. Given the unique role of a congressman in the American constitutional scheme, it is not surprising, as the Supreme Court has recognized, that ``serving constituents and supporting legislation that will benefit the district and individuals and groups therein is the everyday business of a legislator.''

> Full Version of the Congressional Ethics Manual - Back to Topics
 

What are Consequential Injuries? - Back to Topics
Q.) What constitutes a consequential injury under the FECA.
A.) This case explains to the CE's (OWCP claimers examiners)  just how to define what a consequential injury is. The case is styled Billy T. McNatt, Docket No. 97-804, Issued April 14, 1999.

Mr. McNatt injury was accepted for an acute back strain and was later expanded to include a herniated Nucleus pulposus in the cervical spine with pain in the right shoulder. Surgery was authorized to repair his torn rotor cuff in his right shoulder.

The claimant filed for a recurrence of disability after he was attempting to lift an empty propane tank form the back seat of his truck while he was not working. The Office denied the recurrence claim noting that this constituted a new injury that was non-work-related.

The Board said that once it is accepted that the work connected character of any condition is established, the subsequent progression of that condition remains compensable under the FECA so long as the worsening is not shown to have been produced by an independent non-industrial cause. If a member weakened by an employment injury contributes to a later fall or another injury, the subsequent injury will be compensable as a consequential injury. If further complication flows from the compensable injury, i.e. so long as it is clear that the real operative factor is the progression of the compensable injury, with an exertion that in itself would not be unreasonable under the circumstances, the condition is compensable.

The case was returned by the Board to the District Office so that the Office could determine whether Mr. McNatt's reaching behind the seat to lift an empty propane tank was reasonable in light of his work related shoulder injury and to further determine whether this constituted an intervening independent cause that contributed to the new injury.

See also: * FECA Procedure Manual Part 2 Claims, Chapter 0805, Section 6
Back to Topics

Legend
OWCP:
Office of Workers' Compensation | DOL: Department of Labor

NOTE: You will need the Adobe Reader for most forms. You can obtain the Reader FREE here: Adobe Acrobat Reader


SCHEDULE AWARDS
What are Scheduled Awards? Schedule awards are for an OWCP accepted condition arising out of an on-the-job injury. The awards are generally for the permanent loss or loss of use of a scheduled member of the body and usually not for the body as a whole. We have devoted an entire page to Scheduled Awards - please Go Here

In order to file a claim for a Scheduled Award you must file Form CA-7. Obtain that form here.

 

What is MMI - Maximum Medical Improvement? - Back to Topics
"Maximal medical improvement" is a condition or state that is well stabilized and unlikely to change substantially in the next year, with or without medical treatment. Over time, there may be some change; however, further recovery or deterioration is not anticipated." Source: AMA Guides (5th Edition) Back to Topics

What is Leave Buy-Back?  - Back to Topics
Source: USPS ELM 2005

512.923 Leave Buy-Back - OWCP

The following provisions concern leave buy-back:

a. Under the provisions of the Injury Compensation Program (545.73b(6)), current employees may be permitted to buy back sick and annual leave they used while awaiting adjudication of their cases by OWCP. In traumatic injury cases, employees may be permitted to buy back only the leave that is used after the end of the 45-day continuation-of-pay period.

b. When the employee buys back annual leave for a previous year that exceeds the applicable maximum (see 512.32), the excessive leave is automatically forfeited. Employees are allowed to buy back only those hours that can be carried forward.

c. Some loss of leave may occur when the period of absence is changed to an LWOP status as a result of leave buy-back. For every 80 hours of paid leave bought back and changed to LWOP, both annual and sick leave are adjusted by the amount earned in 1 pay period. The employee must be informed of this so there will be no misunderstanding.

See Exhibit 514.4, item e, for further information.

545.84 Leave Buy-Back

An employee may use sick or annual leave after the COP period expires, or during a period of disability due to an occupational injury. In such cases, the employee may be entitled to buy back the leave with compensation payments (see 512.923). The control office is responsible for informing employee, in writing, that:

a. The buy-back must be initiated within 1 year of the return to duty, or within 1 year of the date OWCP approved the claim, whichever is later.

b. Employees who are being separated because of disability or other reasons cannot buy back leave after they are off the rolls of the Postal Service.

Back to Topics

Injury Partially Overcome - Back to Topics
ELM 546.142

Obligation When an employee has partially overcome the injury or disability, the Postal Service has the following obligation:
a. Current Employees. When an employee has partially overcome a compensable disability, the Postal Service must make every effort toward assigning the employee to limited duty consistent with the employee’s medically defined work limitation tolerance (see 546.611). In assigning such limited duty, the Postal Service should minimize any adverse or disruptive impact on the employee. The following considerations must be made in effecting such limited duty assignments:

(1) To the extent that there is adequate work available within the employee’s work limitation tolerances, within the employee’s craft, in the work facility to which the employee is regularly assigned, and during the hours when the employee regularly works, that work constitutes the limited duty to which the employee is assigned.
(2) If adequate duties are not available within the employee’s work limitation tolerances in the craft and work facility to which the employee is regularly assigned within the employee’s regular hours of duty, other work may be assigned within that facility.
(3) If adequate work is not available at the facility within the employee’s regular hours of duty, work outside the employee’s regular schedule may be assigned as limited duty. However, all reasonable efforts must be made to assign the employee to limited duty within the employee’s craft and to keep the hours of limited duty as close as possible to the employee’s regular schedule.
(4) an employee may be assigned limited duty outside of the work facility to which the employee is normally assigned only if there is not adequate work available within the employee's work limitation tolerances at the employee's facility. In such instances, every effort must be made to assign the employee to work within the employee's craft within the employee's regular schedule and as near as possible to the regular work facility to which the employee is normally assigned.

b. Former Employees. When a former employee has partially recovered from a compensable injury or disability, the Postal Service must make every effort toward reemployment consistent with medically defined work limitation tolerances. Such an employee may be returned to any position for which he or she is qualified, including a lower grade position than that which the employee held when compensation began.

NOTE: Placement priority for rehabilitation assignment is the same as for limited duty.
Back to Topics

Leave Buy Back - Back to Topics
Source: USPS ELM

512.923 Leave Buy-Back — OWCP

The following provisions concern leave buy-back:

a. Under the provisions of the Injury Compensation Program (545.73b(6)), current employees may be permitted to buy back sick and annual leave they used while awaiting adjudication of their cases by OWCP. In traumatic injury cases, employees may be permitted to buy back only the leave that is used after the end of the 45-day
continuation-of-pay period.

b. When the employee buys back annual leave for a previous year that exceeds the applicable maximum (see 512.32), the excessive leave is automatically forfeited. Employees are allowed to buy back only those hours that can be carried forward.

c. Some loss of leave may occur when the period of absence is changed to an LWOP status as a result of leave buy-back. For every 80 hours of paid leave bought back and changed to LWOP, both annual and sick leave are adjusted by the amount earned in 1 pay period. The employee must be informed of this so there will be no misunderstanding.

See Exhibit 514.4, item e, for further information.

545.84 Leave Buy-Back

An employee may use sick or annual leave after the COP period expires, or during a period of disability due to an occupational injury. In such cases, the employee may be entitled to buy back the leave with compensation payments (see 512.923). The control office is responsible for informing employee, in writing, that:

a. The buy-back must be initiated within 1 year of the return to duty, or within 1 year of the date OWCP approved the claim, whichever is later.

b. Employees who are being separated because of disability or other reasons cannot buy back leave after they are off the rolls of the Postal Service.

Back to Topics

Maggie Moore Rights - Back to Topics

DO NOT RETURN TO WORK UNTIL FULL EXECUTION OF YOUR "MAGGIE MOORE" RIGHTS!!

Job Suitability Determinations Under the FECA
Returning to Work after period of Disability Caused by Compensable Work Injury

An injured worker (IW) has the right to a formal suitability determination by OWCP before returning to work from a period of disability caused by compensable injury. Evidence of OWCP's determination of suitability comes in the form of a "30- day" letter. In this letter, the IW is informed that OWCP has reviewed the job offer, considered pertinent medical information and has determined that the job being offered is medically - and otherwise - suitable. The IW is given 30 days to respond to OWCP with reasons - if any - for refusing the job. OWCP is bound to consider any reasons given by the IW, after which a second letter - the "15 day" letter - is issued to the IW.

In the 15-day letter, the IW is told that reasons given for rejection of the offer have been considered and [either OWCP is persuaded that the job is not suitable after all, or they find that] the offer remains one of suitable work. OWCP tells the IW that no other reasons for refusal will be considered, and that if the IW does not accept the position being offered within 15 days, compensation benefits will terminate. If the IW refuses to report to suitable work after the Maggie Moore procedural requirements are met, compensation benefits are cut. The decision to cut benefits can be appealed, but compensation benefits will not be reinstated absent reversal on appeal.

While time-consuming and "inconvenient", a strict adherence to these procedures provide the best possible chance of long term success in the work force - obviously of great benefit to employing agencies as well.

Maggie Moore ECAB Decisions

* 41 ECAB 334
* 42 ECAB 484
* 43 ECAB 818
Also check out the cases of Tobey Rael (46 ECAB 231), and Randall A. Edinger (43 ECAB 1116).

Some ECAB Decisions May Be Found Here: http://www.dol.gov/ecab/cases/main.htm
 

Back to Topics

Reinstatement and Limited Duty - Back to Topics

ELM, sections 546.14, mandates that the Postal Service “make every effort toward assigning the employee to limited duty consistent with the employee’s medically defined work limitation tolerance.” This includes work not only within the employee’s craft and installation, but also outside of the employee’s craft and installation if no work is available within the employee’s craft and/or installation.
EL-505 (Injury Compensation), Exhibits 7.1 and 11.7b provide similar protections for limited duty and rehab employees. Back to Topics

COMMONLY USED ABBREVIATIONS - Back to Topics

COP - Continuation of Pay
CSRS - Civil Service Retirement System
ECAB - Employees' Compensation Appeals Board
FECA - Federal Employees' Compensation Act
FERS - Federal Employees' Retirement System
OLI - Optional Life Insurance
OPM - Office of Personnel Management
OWCP - Office of Workers' Compensation Programs
RIF - Reduction in Force
SSA - Social Security Administration
VA - Department of Veterans Affairs

Back to Topics

Are only regular, full-time employees eligible for FECA benefits? - Back to Topics
No. FECA coverage is extended to Federal employees regardless of the length of time on the job or the type of position held. Probationary, temporary, and term employees are covered on the same basis as permanent employees. Also, part-time, seasonal, and intermittent employees are covered.

Are all work-related injuries covered under the FECA? - Back to Topics
All kinds of injuries, including diseases caused by employment, are covered if they occur in the performance of duty (see questions C-5 to C-9). However, benefits cannot be paid if injury or death is caused by willful misconduct of the injured employee, by intent to bring about the injury or death of oneself or another, or by intoxication of the injured employee.

Does the FECA cover a pre-existing medical condition that is aggravated by factors of employment? - Back to Topics
Yes. Diseases and illnesses aggravated, accelerated or precipitated by the employment are covered. The employee must submit medical and factual evidence showing that the employment aggravated, accelerated, or precipitated the medical condition.

Is it necessary to report all injuries that occur at work, even minor ones such as a cut finger or bumped knee? - Back to Topics
All injuries should be reported when they occur, since a minor injury sometimes develops into a more serious condition. Benefits cannot be paid unless an injury is reported.

Are compensation payments subject to claims by creditors? - Back to Topics
No. The FECA provides that assignment of a claim for compensation is void and all compensation payments are exempt from the claims of creditors. However, disability compensation payments may be garnished for alimony and child support payments if allowed by state law, and the legal process is served according to state law

What is the difference between a "Traumatic Injury" and an "Occupational Disease or Illness"? - Back to Topics
A traumatic injury is a wound or other condition of the body caused by external force, including stress or strain. The injury must occur at a specific time and place, and it must affect a specific member or function of the body. The injury must be caused by a specific event or incident, or a series of events or incidents, within a single day or work shift.

Traumatic injuries include damage solely to or destruction of prostheses, such as dentures or artificial limbs. Traumatic injuries also include damage to or destruction of personal appliances, such as eyeglasses or hearing aids, when a personal injury requiring medical services occurred. (See question A-8 concerning personal property.)

An occupational disease or illness is a condition produced by the work environment over a period longer than one work day or shift. The condition may result from infection, repeated stress or strain, or repeated exposure to toxins, poisons, fumes or other continuing conditions of the work environment.

The length of exposure, not the cause of the injury or the medical condition which results, determines whether an injury is traumatic or occupational. For instance, if an employee is exposed to toxic fumes for one day, the incident is considered a traumatic injury. If the employee is exposed to toxic fumes for two or more days, the incident is considered an occupational disease.

What can an employee do if his or her supervisor refuses to accept a notice of injury, illness or death? - Back to Topics
The employee should notify OWCP of the refusal. Federal law provides in 18 U.S.C. 1922 that:

Whoever, being an officer or employee of the United States charged with the responsibility for making the reports of the immediate superior specified by section 8120 of title 5, willfully fails, neglects, or refuses to make any of the reports, or knowingly files a false report, or induces, compels, or directs an injured employee to forego filing of any claim for compensation or other benefits provided under subchapter I of chapter 81 of title 5 or any extension or application thereof, or willfully retains any notice, report, claim, or paper which is required to be filed under that subchapter or any extension or application thereof, or regulations prescribed thereunder, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

What is a recurrence of disability, and how does it differ from a new injury? - Back to Topics
A recurrence of disability is defined as an inability to work after an employee has returned to work, when the inability is caused by a spontaneous change in a medical condition which had resulted from a previous injury or illness without an intervening injury or new exposure to the work environment that caused the illness.

This term also means an inability to work that occurs when a light-duty assignment made specifically to accommodate an employee's physical restriction due to his or her work-related injury or illness is withdrawn (except when such withdrawal occurs for reasons of misconduct, non-performance of job duties, or a reduction-in-force). Finally, it means an inability to work that occurs when the physical requirements of such a light-duty assignment are changed so that they exceed an employee's established medical restrictions.

In contrast, a new incident with an identifiable cause is defined as a new injury.

What is the time limit for filing notice of injury and claim for compensation? - Back to Topics
A notice must be filed within three years of the date of injury. However, if a claim is not filed within three years, compensation may still be paid if written notice of injury was given within 30 days, or the employer had actual knowledge of the injury within 30 days after it occurred.

PEN HOME

USPS Discounts
PostalEASE Login
Employee Deals
LiteBlue
EAP4you.com

MORE RESOURCES
All Forums
SiteMap
USPS Forms
Forms and More
Change Your Address
USPS Holidays
The Belden Factor
The Lewis Letters
Letter Carrier Duties
Our Postal Stores
Photos: One - Two
Insurance Section
Employee Death
Retirement
USPS Benefits
Earnings Statement


DISCLAIMER:
Information and content posted at Postal Employee Network is intended to help users locate help or assistance with their jobs. We are not responsible for the misinterpretation of said content. Please make certain to check with your union and local USPS management, as well as applicable government agency such as the Dept. of Labor before making a decision that will affect your career or personal life. Back to Topics

 |
About Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Advertise With Us Contact PEN
 

 
     
 Copyright © 1997 To Date Postal Employee Network - All rights reserved.