Inner Banner

Frequently asked questions

Federal Workers Compensation Claims

What, exactly, does federal workers compensation cover?

All injuries suffered while performing your duties as a federal employee.

  • Who’s covered?

    You must be a federal employee as defined by law. That includes most permanent and temporary workers. Exceptions abound, however. Special legislation deals with federal grand jurors, ROTC cadets, Job Corps enrollees and others. Additionally, the workers’ comp program deals with contract employees and volunteers under certain circumstances and not under others.We may be able to help if the powers-that-be decide you’re not covered. Simply call…. for a friendly, no cost, no obligation consultation

  • How about pre-existing conditions?

    They’re covered as long as something happened at work that aggravated or accelerated them. Of course, you must submit medical evidence demonstrating that a work-related injury made your pre-existing condition worse.

  • Am I covered if my work-related problem goes away and then recurs?


  • What’s the time limit for filing a claim?

    Three years. Nonetheless, the OWCP may still pay a claim even though you didn’t make it in a timely manner. They might do so if you gave written notice to the agency that employed you within 30 days of injury or that agency knew about your problem.

  • What forms should I use to file for federal employees workers compensation?

    These are the primary documents, although there are others.

    CA-1, for a “traumatic injury.”

    CA – 2, for an “occupational disease.” Also include checklists CA-35A through H, depending on your medical condition.

    CA – 2a for recurrence of condition that a work-related injury originally caused.

    CA – 16 for permission to seek medical care.

  • Where can I find these forms?

    You can locate these and other relevant documents on this site.

  • Can someone besides me submit these forms?

    Your supervisor or representative can complete and sign these documents if you’re incapacitated.

  • What is a “traumatic injury?

    It’s an injury to your body or damage to your prosthetic device that occurs in one day or one work shift.

  • What is an “occupational disease?”

    It’s similar to a traumatic injury except that it takes place in more than one day or shift. Examples of occupational diseases occurring on the job include repetitive stress injuries, infections, poisonings and psychological problems.

  • How do I get medical care?

    Your supervisor must submit a CA – 16 within four hours of your seeking medical treatment unless there’s an emergency. In that case, your supervisor may telephone the treating entity and then submit the CA-16 within 48 hours. Your agency can refuse to pay for medical treatment if your supervisor fails to submit that form within a week of your treatment request.

  • Can I choose my health care provider?

    Yes, as long as that person is a “physician” as defined by the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA).

  • How does FECA define “physician?”

    The law defines it more generously than you may think. According to that Act, “physicians” include surgeons, podiatrists, dentists, clinical psychologists, optometrists, osteopaths, and chiropractors. All of these professionals must conduct their practices as defined by state laws, but the OWCP will only pay chiropractors if they manually manipulate your spine to correct a subluxation that shows up on an X-ray.

  • Will I get paid while the OWCP processes my claim?

    Yes, it’s called Continuation of Pay (COP). You can get it for up to 45 days for a traumatic injury unless your agency disputes or “controverts” your claim for COP.

  • What grounds can my agency “controvert” my COP application?

    They can allege that,

    • Your medical problem didn’t result from an occupational disease or illness.

    • You’re not covered by FECA.

    • You’re not a U.S. or Canadian citizen.

    • You were hurt off premises, and you weren’t performing authorized duties.

    • You caused your injuries by engaging in willful misconduct.

    • You didn’t report your injury on an approved form within 30 days.

    • You continued working immediate after the injury but ceased work 90 days or more after it occurred.

    • You reported the problem after you left federal employment.

  • Will I receive any benefits if it takes longer that the maximum 45 days for the OWCP to process my claim?

    Submit to the OWCP a CA-7 on the 40th day of COP if you think you will miss more than 45 days of work.

  • Do I get my full pay after the COP Runs Out if I’m still not able to work?

    No. You get disability pay, which is two-thirds of your salary if you have no dependents. If you have them, you get three-quarters.

  • How do you define “dependents?”
    • A spouse.

    • A child under 18 who lives at home or resides elsewhere, but receives your regular support.

    • A disabled child over 18.

    • A student between 18 and 23 who meets the following conditions. They haven’t completed four years of post-high school education, and they are studying full time.

    • A parent whom you support completely.

    Obviously, the federal workers compensation program is extremely complicated. As a result, you most likely have additional questions. We will happily answer them. Simply call for a free, no-obligation consultation at…