Human Relations Department
Federal Injury Compensation
The Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA) provides wage loss compensation and medical benefits to postal and federal employees who become injured or ill as a result of their duties.
For an overview of laws, regulations, and policies that affect injured postal and federal employees, click here.
New Online Tool for OWCP Claims
(07/01/12) The Employees’ Compensation Operations and Management Portal (ECOMP) is the newest on-line tool created by the Department of Labor Office of Worker’s Compensation Programs (OWCP) to assist with claims processing and tracking. The system permits claimants, representatives, employing agency staff and medical providers to upload documents directly into existing OWCP files through the internet. ECOMP enables Claims Examiners (CEs) to view the new information within four hours of submission. [read more]
More on New FECA Regulations
(05/01/12) The March-April 2012 issue of The American Postal Worker addressed significant changes to the administrative policies of the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA). Other important changes are outlined below.
§10.7 Adds two new forms: CA-3, Report of Work Status, and CA-20a Attending Physician’s Supplemental Report, for the proper recording and reporting of injuries.
§10.18 Requires a beneficiary to report to OWCP any felony conviction or imprisonment that would forfeit their right to compensation during incarceration. [read more]
DOL Releases New Online Tool
For Workers' Compensation Claims
(03/02/12) The Employees’ Compensation Operations and Management Portal (ECOMP) is the newest on-line tool created by the Office of Worker’s Compensation Programs (OWCP) to assist with claims processing and tracking.
The system permits claimants, representatives, employing agency staff and medical providers to upload documents directly into existing OWCP files through the Internet. ECOMP enables Claims Examiners (CEs) to view new information within four hours of submission. [read more]
New FECA Regulations
(03/01/12) An exhaustive list of new regulations that change the administrative policies of the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA) went into effect on Aug. 29, 2011. These are the first revisions since 1999. Although these changes included some improvements, a disturbing percentage of the amendments can be characterized as anti-worker. [read more]
APWU Discourages Members
From Participating in ‘Align Networks’
(01/26/12) The APWU “strongly discourages” union members from participating in physical therapy through Align Networks, Human Relations Director Sue Carney says. The Postal Service notified the union in October that Align would offer physical therapy to employees with work-related injuries and illnesses on a voluntary basis. The Postal Service has been touting the benefits of the program on the work-floor recently, but Carney advises workers to avoid the program. “As a contract provider, Align Networks can share information with the Postal Service that would otherwise be protected by doctor-patient confidentiality, including information that is unrelated to workplace injuries,” she warned. [read more]
Compensation Bill Passes House
Legislator Criticizes Postal Bills’ Approach to Injured Workers
(12/01/11) The House of Representatives passed bi-partisan legislation supported by the APWU to update benefits for injured federal and postal workers on Nov. 29. The bill would raise benefits for funeral expenses (to $6,000) and compensation for facial disfigurement (to $50,0000); these benefits have not been increased since 1949. [read more]
Changes to Federal Workers Compensation Laws
Would Negatively Affect Postal Workers
(05/12/11) Proposed changes to the Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA) “will negatively affect public servants and their families,” APWU Human Relations Director Sue Carney said in testimony before the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections. The Department of Labor’s proposed Federal Injured Employees Re-employment Act (FIERA), if adopted as written, would strip injured workers of benefits. [read more]
Unions Discuss Proposed FECA Changes
(03/01/11) The APWU hosted a meeting of unions on Feb. 28 to discuss proposed changes to the Federal Employees Compensation Act. Analyzing the Federal Injured Employees Re-Employment Act (FIERA) were labor organizations that represent postal and federal workers, including the APWU, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW), the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), and others. The unions vowed to prepare a unified response to any changes to federal law that would strip injured workers of benefits. In the photo above, APWU Human Relations Director Sue Carney is shown seated at the head of the table.
The ‘3-Day Waiting Period’
(May 2007) Despite a long and hard-fought battle by the APWU, on Dec. 20, 2006, President Bush signed into law the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, which included provisions that we vehemently opposed. One such item is an amendment to Section 8117 of the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA). The amendment, which applies only to USPS employees, establishes a three-day waiting period before Continuation of Pay (COP) will be granted. [read more]
USPS Unveils Prescription
Drug Card for Workplace Injuries
(05/10/06) The USPS has announced a voluntary prescription drug card program for employees who suffer workplace injuries or illnesses. According to the Postal Service, employees who choose to participate in the program will submit their drug card and prescriptions to the pharmacy of their choice, and the prescriptions will be filled at no cost to the employee. [read more]
Ruling to Benefit Retirees
Who Were Injured on the Job
(04/19/06) A recent decision by the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) should ensure
that employees who work less than eight hours per day as the result of
job-related injuries get their full annuity they when they retire. The MSPB
decision reverses a policy enacted by the Office of Personnel Management in
2002, which declared that employees who were partially disabled due to
job-related injuries should be treated as part-time workers, and their
retirement annuities should be based only on their part-time work hours.
Leave Buy Back:
Dispute with the Postal Service
In 2001 the APWU learned that the Postal Service had instructed its Injury Compensation Specialists to inform employees who suffered on-the-job injuries that “if leave is used after a claim is accepted by the Department of Labor, OWCP, that leave may not be bought back.” On July 18, 2001, the APWU initiated a Step 4 dispute regarding this policy, charging that the Postal Service violated the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. [read more]