|November 5, 2008|
Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP)
Division of Federal Employees' Compensation (DFEC)
The Federal Employees' Compensation Act provides workers' compensation coverage to three million Federal and Postal workers around the world for employment-related injuries and occupational diseases. Benefits include wage replacement, payment for medical care, and where necessary, medical and vocational rehabilitation assistance in returning to work. The program has 12 district offices nationwide.
What our Program Does
The Division of Federal Employees' Compensation adjudicates new claims for benefits and manages ongoing cases; pays medical expenses and compensation benefits to injured workers and survivors; and helps injured employees return to work when they are medically able to do so.
In FY 2006, 139,874 new cases were created. The program provided 264,000 workers and survivors approximately $2.4 billion in benefits for work-related injuries or illnesses. Of these benefit payments, over $1.6 billion was for wage-loss compensation, $668 million for medical and rehabilitation services, and $129 million for death benefit payments to surviving dependents.
Services our Customers can Expect
Prompt Adjudication. If you are an injured worker, you can expect timely adjudication of your compensation claim:
Prompt Payment of Medical Bills. Medical bills, whether submitted directly by the providers or as reimbursement requests by injured workers, are usually processed within 28 days of receipt. For any bill which is not payable, an Explanation of Benefits describing the reason for non-payment is issued to the party who submitted the bill.
Prompt Payment of Compensation. Injured workers can also expect prompt payment of claims for wage loss in accepted cases. Where medical evidence supports disability for work, compensation payments are usually made within 14 days of submittal to the district office by the employing agency.
Assistance in Returning to Work. The Federal Employees' Compensation Act gives injured workers the right to reclaim their Federal jobs within one year of the onset of wage loss. We will do everything we can to help employees return to work during that time period, and, if necessary, beyond. Injured workers and employing agencies can expect timely case management services, which include the following:
How the Program is Funded
Employing agencies are responsible for reimbursing the Division of Federal Employees' Compensation for their workers' compensation expenses. This reimbursement occurs once each year through the chargeback process.
Also, because disputes in claims under the Federal Employees' Compensation Act are resolved administratively, the Federal government avoids time-consuming and expensive litigation, which in some non-Federal workers' compensation systems can account for as much as 46% of payout.