What Is OWCP-All You Need To Know About It
It can be traumatic to suffer from a work-related injury especially for a federal worker who has no idea what to do next. There is a huge difference between federal and state workers' compensation and the biggest task is in finding legal representation for the compensation. The US government provides civilian federal workers benefits when they become injured or ill due to their job duties. This is referred to as the Office of Worker's Compensation Programs (OWCP).
What is OWCP Compensation?
Federal workers who get injured or ill due to their job duties are provided with federal worker's benefit by the government. This benefit is administered by the Office of Workers Compensation Program which mainly covers four major disability compensation programs. Furthermore, in the event the work-related injury or illness leads to the death of the worker, the dependents are eligible to receive the benefits. The injured worker fills the OWCP form after which a claims examiner is assigned to review the file.
The Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA) is responsible for providing coverage for employment-related injuries and occupational diseases to both federal and postal workers across the world. All civilians employed by the federal government are covered by FECA. This includes employees in the executives, legislative, and judicial government branches. Furthermore, OWCP also covers Peace Corps, Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets, and federal jurors.
Compensation benefits available
1. Medical Benefits
2. Temporary Total Disability
In case the employee suffers from traumatic injuries, he/she is eligible for continuation of their full pay (COP) for the first one and a half month of disability. Moreover, the employee is also eligible for 2/3 of their pre-disability wages if he/she suffers from a work-related disability. The OWCP forms have all the necessary fields that have to be accurately filed by the employee with an accompanying medical report that proves the injury or disability is work-related.
3. Permanent Effects
Sometimes an employee may suffer from a specific-job related permanent partial impairment. This may be the loss of a limb. In this case, the employee is entitled to a "Schedule Award". The schedule award is given as the employee has exhausted the temporary total disability benefits. The temporary award is a monetary payment that has been prescribed by the statues and regulations. The injured employee receives the payment for a prescribed number of weeks depending with his/her wage rate, percentage of permanent impairment, and the impaired body part.
The OWCP also provides the loss-of-earning capacity benefits for employees who cannot return to work. The amount payable is the difference between the employee's pre-impairment wages and the amount he/she was to earn after the injury.
4. Death Benefits
If the employee is killed due to a work-related injury or illness, his/her dependents are entitled to receive the benefits. The amount payable depends on the relationship between the survivors and the deceased. Furthermore, the family may receive up to $800 to cater for burial expenses.
Workers Compensation Claim Process
The federal worker's compensation claims are processed and adjudicated by the OWCP. A medical examination by the doctor should also be submitted with the OWCP forms that have been filed by the claimant. The following factors must be proved by the submitted forms and doctors' evidence for your OWCP federal worker's compensation claim to be approved by the claims examiner.
1. Providing timely notice of your injury or illness
Formal notice must be sent to the OWCP within 30 days from the day of injury or illness. This deadline must be met for your claim to be processed.
2. You must be a federal government employee
You must prove that you were a federal government employee when the injury or illness occurred.
3. You must prove you were injured
The claim examiner must determine that the injury or illness occurred. Secondly, the examiner must determine that the injury or illness occurred due to work duties. The medical reports must prove that the injury or illness arose from the factual inquiry.
4. The injury or illness must be work-releted
You must prove that the injury or illness occurred as a result of work duties or an acceptable job-related activity.
5. The injury must be related to what you were doing.
If the worker is not in agreement with the claims decision, he/she may request a hearing before OWCP.