Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA)
The Federal Workers’ Compensation Program was established to provide reimbursement to eligible civilian federal employees for medical expenses and lost wages for accidental injuries and diseases sustained while in the performance of duty. The Program is administered by the United States Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Workers Compensation Programs (OWCP) and compensation is paid from the Federal Employees’ Compensation Fund.
Federal Workers’ Compensation is the exclusive remedy for eligible civilian federal employees seeking compensation for covered injuries. Federal employees may not sue the government for damages outside of the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA).
Do I qualify for Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA)?
In order to collect workers’ compensation, you must first be eligible for the Program:
- You or your family member is a former or current FEDERAL EMPLOYEE
- That was INJURED or contracted an OCCUPATIONAL ILLNESS
- Your injury or occupational illness resulted from your PERFORMANCE OF DUTY with the federal government
- Your disability or family member’s death RESULTED FROM such injury or occupational illness
You do not fit within any of the STATUTORY EXEMPTIONS including:
- The injury or death was caused by the injured employee’s WILLFUL MISCONDUCT
- The injury or death was caused by the injured employee’s INTENT TO BRING ABOUT INJURY OR DEATH to himself or another or
- The injury or death was proximately caused by the injured employee’s INTOXICATION BY DRUGS OR ALCOHOL
If you aren’t sure whether you qualify, contact Stephens & Stephens to find out!
If I qualify for Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA), what do I do?
FIRST, written notice of the injury or death must be filed within thirty (30) days of the injury or death. Once written notice is filed, a claim for disability or death benefits should be made within three (3) years of the date of the injury or death.
NEXT, we will collect records, including employment and medical records that support your claim. Which records are necessary depends on your injury or occupational illness.
THEN, we will submit the necessary OWCP forms and supporting evidence to the appropriate Division of Federal Employees’ Compensation (DFEC) District Office.
AFTER we submit your claim, the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) will make an initial determination as to whether you are entitled to compensation under FECA. If you are not satisfied with OWCP’s final determination, you may request a hearing before an OWCP hearing representative, request reconsideration, or appeal to the Employees Compensation Appeals Board (ECAB).
What does Federal Workers’ compensation include?
- MEDICAL COSTS associated with your covered condition(s)
- CONTINUATION OF PAY for up to 45 days, if you suffered a “traumatic injury,” rather than an occupational disease or illness
- COMPENSATION FOR LOST WAGES, depending on whether your injury or occupational illness caused you total or partial disability
- VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION to assist you in returning to work
- DEATH BENEFITS, FUNERAL AND BURIAL EXPENSES, DEATH GRATUITY, and ADMINISTRATION COSTS, if a worker dies as a result of an injury sustained in the performance of duty