Frequently Asked Questions
The following "Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQs) are provided by the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs, U.S. Department of Labor
Other FAQs on the following topic areas are also available:
You need to complete either form CA-1, "Federal Employee's Notice of Traumatic Injury and Claim for Continuation of Pay/Compensation" or form CA-2 "Notice of Occupational Disease and Claim for Compensation". A traumatic injury is one that can be pinpointed to have occurred during one particular work shift – falling down the steps for example. An occupational disease is a medical condition that has developed due to work activities performed over more than one work shift. Both the CA-1 and the CA-2 are available on the FECA forms page .
If your employing agency has enrolled for electronic submission of forms via the Employees' Compensation Operations and Management Portal (ECOMP), you may visit the ECOMP site to register for an account and initiate a claim.
If you are submitting a CA-2, you should also review the appropriate CA-35 "Evidence Required in Support of a Claim for Occupational Disease" form/checklist. There are several of these detailing the different sorts of documentation to be submitted depending on the type of occupational disease. They are all included in one document at the aforementioned site.
If you are still employed by the Federal agency where you worked when the injury occurred, submit the claim through your employing agency. Be sure to keep a copy of everything for your records. Your agency will complete their portion of the CA-1 or CA-2 and submit the entire packet to the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP) district office. OWCP will advise you of the claim number which has been established. The district office will review the information submitted and will determine if there is sufficient information to adjudicate the claim. If there is insufficient information to adjudicate the claim, they will send you a letter advising of the additional information needed.
If you are no longer employed by the Federal government, you should submit the completed form to the Federal agency where you last worked when the injury or disease was sustained. If the agency no longer exists or you experience difficulties in submitting the form, you should contact your servicing OWCP district office for assistance. District office jurisdiction is determined by where you live. A listing of the district offices is available on the FECA contacts page .
The Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA) provides that a claim for compensation must be filed within 3 years of the date of injury. For a traumatic injury, the statutory time limitation begins to run from the date of injury. For a latent condition, it begins to run when an injured employee with a compensable disability becomes aware, or reasonably should have been aware, of a possible relationship between the medical condition and the employment. Where the exposure to the identified factors of employment continues after this knowledge, the time for filing begins to run on the date of the employee's last exposure to those factors. If a claim is not filed within 3 years, compensation may still be paid if written notice of injury was given within 30 days or if the employer had actual knowledge of the injury within 30 days after it occurred. There is nothing to prohibit you from filing the claim. Timeliness is determined by the OWCP district office as part of the adjudication process.
If you have a loss of wages (following any Continuation of Pay (COP) received for a traumatic injury, if applicable) and are in Leave Without Pay (LWOP) status as a result of the accepted condition(s) on your claim, you need to file a CA-7 "Claim for Compensation" with your agency. If the period claimed on the CA-7 is intermittent, you need also to complete a CA-7a "Time Analysis Form". Both of these forms are available on our forms page . If your employing agency has enrolled for electronic submission of forms via ECOMP, you may file the forms on the ECOMP sitec. You need to provide medical documentation supporting any periods of disability claimed. Your agency will complete their portion of the CA-7 and submit it and the medical documentation to OWCP. OWCP will determine if there is sufficient information on file to pay compensation for the periods claimed or if further information/development is needed.
If you used leave to cover period of disability resulting from the accepted injury, you can apply to your agency to buy back your leave. Each agency establishes its own rules for whether they allow leave buy back (LBB), timelines for submission, etc. If your agency does allow leave buy back, to request a LBB, you need to complete a complete a CA-7 and check box B in section 2. You also must sign form CA-7b "Leave Buy Back (LBB) Worksheet/Certification and Election," after it has been completed by your employing agency. If the period you claimed was intermittent (not a solid block of full days), you also need to complete a CA-7a "Time Analysis Form". Each of these forms is available on the FECA forms page . Submit these forms to your employing agency. They will complete their portion and forward them to OWCP for processing. There needs to be medical documentation in the OWCP file supporting your inability to work as a result of your accepted medical condition for any period where LBB is claimed.
OWCP pays compensation at 66 2/3% of your pay rate (if you have no eligible dependents) or at 75% (if you have at least one eligible dependent), while official leave is paid at 100% of your pay rate. To buy back your leave, you have to pay your agency the difference between what you were paid and what you would have received for compensation. For example, if you have at least one eligible dependent and your pay rate was $1000 per week, OWCP would pay you $750 in compensation ($1000 x .75) if you took a week of leave. To buy back your 40 hours of leave, you need to pay your agency $250 ($1000 - $750).
Injured workers and their representatives may access information regarding case status and wage loss compensation payments by contacting the Federal Employees Program . Injured workers should have their 9-digit case file or claim number and social security number when calling.
The Claimant Query System (CQS), now part of ECOMP , also provides injured workers with 24-hour access to their case file status; accepted conditions; address of record and; compensation payments and tracking.