The Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA) provides compensation benefits for federal workers in the case of an injury, disease, disability, or death from an employment related cause. It covers both full and part-time workers regardless of what branch they work in. The following employees are covered under this act:
- Federal jurors
- State and local law enforcement acting in a federal capacity
- Peace Corps volunteers
- Coast Guard auxiliary members
- Civil Air Patrol members
FECA covers all injuries and illnesses resulting from or aggravated by work activities. Exceptions to this rule include situations where misconduct by the employee is involved. Benefits are also suspended if the employee is imprisoned due to a felony conviction, and not restored upon release.
FECA allows you to choose your own physician, however, you will need authorization if you want to change physicians later.
Here are some of the forms you will need to fill out.
- Form CA-16 (Authorization for Examination and/or Treatment) will need to be filled out before you seek medical services unless it’s an emergency.
- Form CA-1 is for traumatic injuries and must be turned in within 30 days.
- Occupational diseases uses Form CA-2.
You should also file for Continuation of Pay (COP), which will provide you with 100 percent if your pay for the first 45 calendar days. This form is the CA-7. Compensation past the first 45 days is determined based on various factors, including the extent of the injury and whether you have dependents. With Temporary Total Disability, compensation is 67 percent of your salary without dependents and 75 percent with dependents.
If physical therapy is required, it’s usually authorized for the first 120 days from the date of the injury. Other services may also be covered depending on the injury. If there are permanent effects from the injury, compensation is based on a schedule of benefits related to the loss.
Death benefits may be available and are paid based on whether there is a widow/widower, dependents, or both. All compensation benefits are subject to cost of living adjustments each year.
FECA compensation and medical benefits continue throughout the disability with no maximum age. The number of weeks of compensation is limited but age is not. However, there are interactions of benefits with CSRS and FERS disability retirement so make sure to check that out.
Your claim for FECA must occur within three years of the injury, although if written notice was given within 30 days, that claim period can be extended. You also don’t need to use your accumulated sick or leave time before getting FECA compensation, but you can. What you can’t do is use that time to satisfy any waiting periods.
Deductions for health insurance and coverage will be made from compensation and you can change your health plan during open season. Life insurance can also be deducted; however, income taxes do not get deducted from this pay.
We do some work with FECA cases and would be glad to set up a consultation with you to see if we can help you. Give us a call at 877-226-2723 or fill out this INQUIRY form.