The Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) was established in 1916 to administer the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA) pursuant to specific federal regulations. Later congressional acts provided compensation to federal workers, such as those in the mining and energy industries or employed by contractors, but the great majority of federal employees receive workers’ compensation under FECA.
To print CA-7 and other forms, please visit the OWCP Forms Page.
Federal Compensation Claims and Appeals
The federal regulation 20 CFR § 10.0 explicitly states that proceedings under FECA are non-adversarial in nature. However, the adjudication of claims often seems adversarial. OWCP does not view compensation as a retirement program; rather, it seeks to return claimants to work. As in baseball, OWCP’s game is a game of outs. At every step of a claim, a claimant faces threats to his or her eligibility for benefits.
Unlike other disability programs, such as Social Security, there is no set sequential way to contest adverse decisions by an OWCP claims examiner or hearing representative. Decisions list appeal options, and the claimant must somehow decide on the best appeal route for his or her claim and then undertake that appeal before the deadline. And a claimant must appeal by one of the following within these time limits:
- Request a hearing within 30 days;
- Appeal to the Employees’ Compensation Appeals Board (ECAB) within 180 days; or
- Request reconsideration and submit further evidence and legal argument within one year.
See topic: TIME LIMITS AND FRAMES IN COMPENSATION CLAIMS AND APPEALS for how to count days to avoid missing an OWCP appeal deadline.
Remember OWCP’s address for all the district offices (with the exception of hearing requests and ECAB appeals—see the Appeal Request Form) is:
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR OWCP
DFEC CENTRAL MAILROOM
PO BOX 8300
LONDON, KY 40742-8300
The Department of Labor website offers replete information about FECA claims. If you have questions, consider checking out these two links.
Links to regulations, pamphlets and district office contact information.
55-page frequently asked questions document in PDF form for printing.
Finally, keep at hand the pages that came with the claim acceptance notice. It lists important information and telephone numbers.