Workers Compensation:

Federal Employees’ Compensation Act

The Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA) offers benefits for federal and postal workers who suffer a work-related injury or occupational disease. Benefits include medical compensation, wage replacement and vocational rehabilitation. The program has 12 district offices across the country.

The Division of Federal Employees’ Compensation arbitrates claims for benefits; offers a variety of benefits to injured employees and survivors; and helps workers return to employment when they have healed properly.

In the 2006 fiscal year, nearly 140,000 new cases were created and the program offered $2.4 billion in benefits for job-related injuries or illnesses. These benefits payments can be broken down as follows:

  • More than $1.6 billion for wage-loss compensation
  • $668 million for medical and rehabilitation services
  • $129 million for death benefits to surviving family members

Employees who are filing workers' compensation claims with the Division of Federal Employees’ Compensation can expect prompt adjudication and subsequent compensation. For traumatic injuries, the injured worker will receive a decision within 45 days of receipt of the claim. In the case of a simple occupational disease, the worker will receive a decision within 90 days. For the majority of occupational illness cases, however, extensive investigation is involved. Therefore, in these cases, the worker will receive the decision within six months. For the most complex occupational illnesses, a decision may take up to 10 months. If the Division of Federal Employees’ Compensation decides to award compensation to the injured worker, the medical bills are typically processed within 28 days of receipt; wage lost compensation payments are generally made within 14 days.

In addition to providing monetary compensation, FECA gives injured workers the opportunity to return to their federal jobs within one year of wage loss. Injured workers can receive timely case management services, including:

  • Assignment of a registered nurse
  • Referral to a specialist for a second opinion
  • Referral for vocational rehabilitation

To learn more about FECA, visit the U.S. Department of Labor or speak with your workers’ compensation attorney.