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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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OWCP Proposed Rules

Performance of Functions; Claims for Compensation Under the Federal Employees' Compensation Act; Compensation for Disability and Death of Noncitizen Federal Employees Outside the United States   [8/13/2010]
[PDF]
FR Doc 2010-18965
[Federal Register: August 13, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 156)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 49595-49653]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr13au10-28]                         


[[Page 49595]]

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Part III





Department of Labor





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Office of Workers' Compensation Programs



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20 CFR Parts 1, 10, and 25



Performance of Functions; Claims for Compensation Under the Federal 
Employees' Compensation Act; Compensation for Disability and Death of 
Noncitizen Federal Employees Outside the United States; Proposed Rule


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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Office of Workers' Compensation Programs

20 CFR Parts 1, 10, and 25

RIN 1240-AA03

 
Performance of Functions; Claims for Compensation Under the 
Federal Employees' Compensation Act; Compensation for Disability and 
Death of Noncitizen Federal Employees Outside the United States

AGENCY: Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, Department of Labor.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: The Department of Labor proposes to amend the regulations 
governing the administration of the Federal Employees' Compensation Act 
(FECA), which provides benefits to all civilian Federal employees and 
certain other groups of employees and individuals who are injured or 
killed while performing their jobs. The Department of Labor also 
proposes to revise the regulations establishing the authority of the 
Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP) which administers the 
FECA.
    The existing rules have been amended to acknowledge a change in the 
organization of the OWCP and amendments to the FECA which have occurred 
since the last time the regulations were amended in 1999. These changes 
also update the regulations by taking into account changes in 
technology and other changes to improve administrative efficiency. As 
many FECA claimants are not represented, the regulations are revised to 
insert FECA statutory references as a frame of reference for clarity 
and ease of use. The regulations include adding the skin as an organ 
pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 8107(c)(22). The regulations also create a new 
special schedule covering injuries to non-citizen non-resident Federal 
employees outside the United States. Finally, the regulations covering 
the processing of medical bills have been updated to provide for 
greater use of technology in that process to reduce costs and to 
clarify requirements for such submissions.

DATES: Written comments must be submitted on or before October 12, 
2010.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on the proposed rule, identified by 
Regulatory Information Number (RIN) 1240-AA03, by one of the following 
methods:
     Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: The Internet address to 
submit comments on the rule is http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the 
Web site instructions for submitting comments.
     Mail: Submit written comments to Shelby Hallmark, 
Director, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, U.S. Department of 
Labor, Room S-3524, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210. 
Because of security measures, mail directed to Washington, DC is 
sometimes delayed. We will only consider comments postmarked by the 
U.S. Postal Service or other delivery service on or before the deadline 
for comments.
    Instructions: All comments must include the RIN 1240-AA03 for this 
rulemaking. Receipt of any comments, whether by mail or Internet, will 
not be acknowledged. Because DOL continues to experience delays in 
receiving postal mail in the Washington, DC area, commenters are 
encouraged to submit any comments by mail early.
    Comments on the proposed rule will be available for public 
inspection during normal business hours at the address listed above for 
mailed comments. Persons who need assistance to review the comments 
will be provided with appropriate aids such as readers or print 
magnifiers. Copies of this proposed rule may be obtained in alternative 
formats (e.g., large print, audiotape or disk) upon request. To 
schedule an appointment to review the comments and/or to obtain the 
proposed rule in an alternative format, contact OWCP at 202-693-0031 
(this is not a toll-free number).
    Written comments on the information collection requirements 
described in this proposed rule should be sent to the Office of 
Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, 
Attention: Desk Officer for Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, 
Washington, DC 20503.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Shelby Hallmark, Director, Office of 
Workers' Compensation Programs, U.S. Department of Labor, Room S-3524, 
200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210, Telephone: 202-693-
0031 (this is not a toll-free number).
    Individuals with hearing or speech impairments may access this 
telephone number via TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Information 
Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Background

    The FECA provides compensation for wage loss, medical care, and 
vocational rehabilitation to Federal employees and certain other 
individuals who are injured in the performance of their duties, or who 
develop illnesses as a result of factors of their Federal employment. 
It also provides monetary benefits to the survivors of employees who 
are killed in the performance of duty or die as the result of factors 
of their Federal employment.

II. Overview of the Regulations

    The program's regulations were last substantially revised in 1999. 
Since then, the organization and authority of OWCP has changed. 
Furthermore, new provisions have been added to the statute, and 
experience has shown that certain parts of the regulations need 
clarification or revision to promote fairness and efficiency in the 
claims process. In addition, technological advances that may help 
preserve administrative resources and improve efficiency in the claims 
process have been made since the last update of the regulations. 
Accordingly, OWCP has determined that the regulations governing the 
administration of claims under FECA require updating.
    As many sections of the regulations are based on longstanding 
interpretations and program practice and do not require revision, this 
is not a wholesale revision of the existing regulations. However, 
consistent with past practice on FECA regulatory revisions, the entire 
regulation is being republished for ease of use. A detailed listing of 
the regulations changed and a description of those changes follows.

20 CFR Part 1

    This part has been amended to reflect the change in organization at 
the Department of Labor that occurred on November 8, 2009, when the 
Employment Standards Administration (ESA) was dissolved and the 
authority that the Secretary of Labor had previously delegated under 
the FECA to ESA was delegated by the Secretary to the Director, OWCP.

20 CFR Part 10

Subpart A--General Provisions
    This subpart is substantially the same as current subpart A 
(Sec. Sec.  10.0 through 10.18). The majority of the changes to this 
subpart involve updating the regulations as a result of the addition of 
the new death gratuity benefit which was added to the FECA by 5 U.S.C. 
8102a and by adding clarification language in a number of sections, as 
described below.

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Definitions and Forms
    Section 10.1 has been modified by deleting the references to the 
Assistant Secretary for Employment Standards, as that position no 
longer exists.
    Section 10.2 now includes the new subpart J of this part which 
administers the new death gratuity benefit that was added to the FECA 
in 2008 by 5 U.S.C. 8102a.
    Section 10.3 has been revised to update the list of OMB control 
numbers to include the new death gratuity forms and the subrogation 
forms.
    Section 10.5 has been revised to restore statutory definitions and 
citations, as experience has shown that the absence of these citations 
caused confusion regarding what definitions were applicable and to 
clarify the definition of a recurrence of disability in paragraph (x).
    Section 10.6 now includes a reference to the special definitions 
for survivorship and dependency that apply only to the new death 
gratuity benefit to promote clarity.
    Section 10.7 has been updated to list all new forms described above 
and to eliminate forms that are no longer in use.
Information in Program Records
    Section 10.10 has been amended to state that information may be 
released under the Privacy Act through the routine uses that apply to 
the records if such release is consistent with the purpose for which 
the records were created. This change has been made to clarify that 
there are certain situations where release of claim files is not 
appropriate under the Privacy Act.
Rights and Penalties
    These sections have been updated to reflect current provisions that 
impose civil penalties on false claims under the FECA and to 
affirmatively require submission of documentation where appropriate.
    Section 10.16 has been revised to note that a civil action may be 
maintained under the False Claims Act to recover erroneous payments 
under the FECA.
    Section 10.17 has been revised to clarify when benefits are 
terminated for defrauding the Federal Government to eliminate confusion 
concerning what day should be used when a guilty plea has been entered. 
The addition specifies what date to use in such a situation. This 
section has also been revised to provide an affirmative duty for the 
employing agency (which may be fulfilled by the employing agency's 
Office of Inspector General (OIG) in a case where the agency OIG is 
actively involved) to submit this information to OWCP.
    Section 10.18 has been revised to provide an affirmative duty for a 
beneficiary to report to OWCP any incarceration based on a felony 
conviction that would result in forfeiture of that beneficiary's right 
to compensation during incarceration.
Subpart B--Filing Notices and Claims; Submitting Evidence
    This subpart is substantially the same as the current subpart B 
(Sec. Sec.  10.100 through 10.127). Most changes involve the electronic 
submission of forms, a method of submission that was not feasible when 
the regulations were last changed. Other changes include the 
administration of the change to the waiting period for employees of the 
United States Postal Service necessitated by a statutory amendment in 5 
U.S.C. 8117.
Notices and Claims for Injury, Disease, and Death--Employee or 
Survivor's Actions
    Sections 10.100, 10.101, 10.102, 10.103 and 10.105 all have been 
revised by an identical provision that allows for electronic submission 
of notices and claims forms. This change includes a provision that all 
agencies should create a method to submit such forms electronically by 
December 31, 2012, by which time OWCP will have implemented a method to 
enhance the agencies' ability to file forms electronically. Electronic 
filing will speed OWCP's processing of claim forms.
    Section 10.102 was also revised to clarify the language specifying 
that CA-7 should be used to claim compensation for additional periods 
of disability.
    Section 10.103 has been revised to provide authority to create a 
separate form for schedule award claims under 5 U.S.C. 8107.
    Section 10.104 was revised to make clear what constitutes a 
recurrence of disability and to explain the basis for a modification of 
a loss of wage-earning capacity determination. The addition of 
paragraph (c) to this section clarifies the distinction by 
incorporating longstanding case law from the Employees' Compensation 
Appeals Board.
Notices and Claims for Injury, Disease, and Death--Employer's Actions
    Section 10.111 has been amended to reflect the change in law 
regarding waiting periods and Postal Service employees incorporated in 
the amendment to 5 U.S.C. 8117.
Evidence and Burden of Proof
    Section 10.115 has been revised to clearly state that the burden of 
proof remains with the claimant even when OWCP requests additional 
information, as provided by ECAB case law.
    Section 10.116 has been amended to reflect current OWCP practice, 
in that OWCP does not require the submission of the checklist in all 
situations.
Decisions on Entitlement to Benefits
    Section 10.127 has been amended to remove the language stating that 
service of a decision on either the claimant or the representative 
would count as service to both, as this no longer reflects current 
practice of the OWCP. OWCP serves decisions on entitlement on both the 
claimant and the representative.
Subpart C--Continuation of Pay
    Subpart C (Sec. Sec.  10.200 through 10.224) continues unchanged 
from the previous regulations, except for a change to Sec.  10.200. The 
change to this section reflects the change to continuation of pay to 
Postal Service employees as a result of the statutory change to 5 
U.S.C. 8117 which provides that Postal Service employees are not 
entitled to continuation of pay for the first 3 days of temporary 
disability unless that disability exceeds 14 days or is followed by 
permanent disability.
Subpart D--Medical and Related Benefits
    Subpart D (Sec. Sec.  10.300 through 10.337) is mostly unchanged. 
Most of the changes involve technological advances since the last 
update of the regulations; these advances caused procedures to be 
changed. Other changes clarify the prior regulations or codify current 
practice. Additionally, OWCP seeks to codify authority to make changes 
to the manner in which durable medical equipment and other non-
physician services are provided.
Emergency Medical Care
    Section 10.300 has been amended to clarify that the Form CA-16, 
which provides authorization for initial medical treatment, authorizes 
treatment from the date of injury, not the date the form is signed. 
This change corrects situations where this form has not been signed 
immediately--this posed difficulties for employees obtaining treatment 
at the time of injury.
Medical Treatment and Related Issues
    Section 10.310 has been amended in a number of places. First, this 
section was amended to cross-reference the sections of this part that 
provide for medical billing and authorization. This

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section has also been modified to codify OWCP's authority to utilize 
field nurses in facilitating and coordinating medical care. 
Furthermore, this section has been modified to codify OWCP's authority 
to contract with specific providers to provide services and appliances; 
OWCP has determined that providing such services in this method may aid 
in delivering such benefits as well as controlling medical costs. This 
section has also been amended to clearly state that certain non-
physician providers provide authorized services to injured employees, 
to the extent allowed under Federal and state law including licensure 
by any appropriate regulating body for that profession. This change was 
made to clarify that OWCP pays for such services.
    Section 10.310 has also been amended to add a new paragraph (c) 
that covers durable medical equipment. This paragraph provides first 
that any provider of such equipment must be registered in Medicare's 
Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics and Supplies 
Competitive Bidding Process. This requirement provides OWCP a measure 
of reliability (including financial security) in such providers, while 
helping OWCP avoid using scarce program resources to police all such 
providers. Furthermore, this paragraph allows OWCP, when purchasing 
such equipment, to offset the costs of prior rental payments against a 
future purchase and provide refurbished equipment when appropriate. 
Both of these additions were done to help control the cost of providing 
this equipment.
    Section 10.311(d) has been amended to clarify that, for a 
chiropractor's service to be under the direction of a qualified 
physician, that physician must prescribe those services.
    Section 10.314 relating to attendant services has been 
substantially shortened from the prior regulation. As the number of 
attendant services provided in cases prior to January 4, 1999 has 
decreased and since the current policy has been successfully in place 
for over a decade, the extended discussion is no longer necessary.
    Section 10.315 has been substantially modified, increasing the 
reasonable distance of travel up to a roundtrip distance of 100 miles. 
OWCP encountered situations where employees no longer had doctors 
within the old distance of 25 miles and determined that such an 
increase is needed. This section has also been amended to explain 
procedures regarding types and manner of transport allowed.
Directed Medical Examinations
    Section 10.320 has been amended to add language allowing another 
person to be present at an OWCP directed examination where there is 
rationalized medical evidence demonstrating that such a person is 
needed in addition to situations such as where a translator or sign 
language interpreter is needed to aid communication. This change is in 
response to a number of claims where such a person may be needed. This 
language sets forth one method to meet the ``exceptional 
circumstances'' test for allowing an additional person in the 
examination where medically indicated.
    Section 10.321 has been updated to add the word ``impartial'' to 
the referee medical review to conform with terminology normally used by 
OWCP and ECAB.
    Section 10.323 has been amended by expressly noting that 
examinations required by OWCP includes testing such as functional 
capacity evaluations and by adding a new paragraph (b) which details 
the process of how OWCP suspends compensation for obstructing a medical 
examination, as well as to explain how the employee can end that 
obstruction. This paragraph was added to provide additional guidance to 
claimants and to consolidate all such information in one location.
Medical Reports
    Section 10.333 has been amended to provide a cross reference to the 
information necessary to support an award for loss to a scheduled 
member and to include additional language used in the AMA Guides.
Medical Bills
    Section 10.335 has been amended to bring this section in line with 
current OWCP procedures, and to provide notice that OWCP may contract 
with a third party for bill payment processing.
    Section 10.337 has been amended to update the cross-references 
contained in that section.
Subpart E--Compensation and Related Benefits
    Subpart E (Sec. Sec.  10.400 through 10.441) also is largely 
unchanged. Of the changes made to this subpart, most are to clarify the 
prior regulation by codifying ECAB case law or promoting administrative 
efficiency by changing practices that experience has shown waste 
program resources. A few additions have been made, including the 
addition of the skin as a scheduled member and including language 
regarding electronic payments and their effect on overpayments.
    Section 10.400 has been amended to include the statutory citation 
for when permanent total disability is presumed to clarify the origin 
of that definition.
    Section 10.401 has been amended to reflect the change in when the 
waiting period begins for Postal Service employees after the amendment 
to 5 U.S.C 8117 as described above.
    Section 10.403 has been amended to restore the factors used in 
determining wage-earning capacity where actual earnings do not fairly 
and reasonably represent that capacity as described in 5 U.S.C. 8115 to 
facilitate ease of use of that section.
    Section 10.404, which describes how compensation is paid for loss 
to scheduled members under 5 U.S.C. 8107, has been revised to include 
the statutory scheduled members as well as those that have been added 
by regulation. Furthermore, Section 10.404 has been amended to include 
the skin as a schedule member, for up to 205 weeks of compensation, for 
injuries sustained on or after September 11, 2001. In determining 
compensation payable for the skin, OWCP considered a number of factors, 
including relative percentage impairments of the other scheduled 
members under the AMA Guides, as well as the length of compensation 
that had been previously given for members added by regulation. After 
considering these factors, OWCP determined that the skin should be 
given the maximum amount of compensation that had been previously given 
when adding new members. As to the date of applicability of this 
section, OWCP determined that use of September 11, 2001 would allow 
individuals who had sustained severe burns or other skin conditions on 
or after September 11, 2001 to file schedule award claims. OWCP further 
determined that use of an earlier date would create problems of proof 
and eligibility under Sec.  10.413 of this section.
Compensation for Death
    Section 10.410 has been amended to clarify that survivor's benefits 
under 5 U.S.C. 8133 are separate and distinct from the death gratuity 
benefits under 5 U.S.C. 8102a.
    Section 10.412 has been amended to include statutory citations to 
the amounts provided for burial and related expenses.
    Section 10.413 has been amended to codify in the regulations the 
requirement of 5 U.S.C. 8109 and ECAB case law which states a claim for 
a schedule award must be filed while the claimant is still alive in 
order for the claim to be paid.

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    Section 10.415 has been amended to modernize the regulation to 
provide additional detail on handling the increasing number of 
governmental payments made by electronic fund transfer (EFT).
    Section 10.417 has been revised to streamline the process by which 
employees establish the dependency for adult children who are incapable 
of self-support. In this section, OWCP has reduced the reporting 
requirements in those instances to once each year, while placing an 
affirmative duty on the employee to report any change in the conditions 
to OWCP. This change will promote efficiency for OWCP when, in a number 
of instances, the circumstance of such dependency will not change more 
than annually. Furthermore, this section was amended to add a new 
section allowing an employee to establish the permanency of an adult 
child's mental or physical disability; such a change will save OWCP 
administrative resources while eliminating an employee's burden to 
continuously submit reports for an adult child with permanent mental or 
physical disabilities.
Adjustments to Compensation
    Section 10.421 has been amended to reflect the change in language 
to 5 U.S.C. 8116 made after the repeal of 5 U.S.C. 5532.
    Section 10.422 has been amended to note that the availability of 
lump sum payments for non-citizen non-resident employees will be 
addressed in Part 25 of this title.
    Section 10.423 has been amended to delete the discussion that 
suggests claims for compensation are subject to garnishment from claims 
from other Federal agencies. The authority for this language is unclear 
and has not been used.
    Section 10.425 has been amended to clarify that leave donated to an 
employee through an employing agency's leave program is not leave that 
may be restored through the leave buy back process.
Overpayments
    Since the last time the regulations were updated, most recipients 
of FECA benefits have been moved to electronic payment (EFT). This has 
created questions as to when an employee has knowledge of receipt of 
their FECA benefits. Accordingly, Sec.  10.430 has been amended to 
reflect a growing concern regarding when a claimant receives, or has 
knowledge of, an electronic payment. This section has been amended to 
add the normal business transaction definition of such receipt, where a 
payee is presumed to have knowledge of any payment once the payee has 
had the opportunity to receive a bank statement from the payee's 
financial institution.
    Section 10.433 was likewise amended to reflect that an employee is 
required to review such bank statements in order to ensure proper 
receipt of FECA benefits.
    Section 10.440 was amended to include District Court and ECAB case 
law which allow OWCP to pursue collection of a debt while any such 
determination is pending before ECAB.
    Section 10.441 was amended to describe the process used by OWCP to 
collect overpayment debts following the death of an employee.
Subpart F--Continuing Benefits
    Subpart F (Sec. Sec.  10.500 through 10.541) is largely unchanged. 
Most changes clarify the prior regulations by further describing the 
procedures and policies of OWCP and by including ECAB case law 
explaining those prior regulations.
    Section 10.500 was amended to clarify the difference between light 
duty work and a suitable work determination and to restore statutory 
citations to the regulations.
    Section 10.501 was amended to include a new subparagraph (2), which 
allows OWCP to require less medical documentation for continuing 
benefits where circumstances merit such reduced documentation, reducing 
the burden on those employees and the OWCP in administering their 
claims.
    Section 10.502 was revised to update the language used to describe 
the impartial referee examination to bring the terminology in line with 
OWCP and ECAB usage.
Return to Work--Employer's Responsibilities
    Section 10.509 was also modified by splitting that section into two 
sections, Sec. Sec.  10.509 and 10.510. Section 10.509 now covers only 
situations involving the effect of downsizing of a light duty position 
on compensation. New Sec.  10.510 describes when a light duty job may 
be used as a basis for a loss of wage-earning capacity determination.
    Section 10.511 is a new section that codifies longstanding ECAB 
case law which delineates the only circumstances under which a loss of 
wage-earning capacity determination may be modified.
Return to Work--Employee's Responsibilities
    Section 10.517 has been modified to make clear that, when an 
employee refuses to seek or accept suitable work, the resulting 
termination of compensation applies to any prior injuries in which 
compensation may be payable as well as the claim under which 
compensation has ended. Consistent with longstanding program practice, 
medical benefits remain payable in all cases following such 
termination.
    Sections 10.518 and 10.519 have been modified to delete references 
to registered nurses under the vocational rehabilitation of employees, 
as ECAB ruled that the sanctions for failing to cooperate with 
vocational rehabilitation do not apply to nurse services.
    New Sec.  10.521 has been added to explain the process followed by 
OWCP when an employee that is involved in the vocational rehabilitation 
process or other return to work effort elects to receive benefits from 
the Office of Personnel Management instead of FECA benefits, and is no 
longer participating in the vocational rehabilitation process. In such 
instances, OWCP may use the evidence of file to perform a loss of wage-
earning capacity determination.
Reports of Earnings From Employment and Self-Employment
    Section 10.525 has been amended to clarify that an employee must 
report all employment activities, including all outside employment, as 
such employment is material to a disability determination. This is so 
even where such earnings from concurrent dissimilar employment held at 
the time of injury do not reduce compensation payable but may still 
assist OWCP in assessing disability for work.
    Section 10.526 has been amended to clarify that, in reporting 
volunteer activities, the fact that the employee received no monetary 
compensation for those activities is not a basis for not reporting 
those activities to OWCP under ECAB case law.
Reports of Dependents
    Section 10.537 was amended to reflect the change in reporting for 
non-minor children to once a year as described above in the discussion 
regarding Sec.  10.417.
Reduction and Termination of Compensation
    Section 10.540 has been reorganized by splitting paragraph (a) into 
new paragraphs (a) and (b), to promote clarity and ease of use of the 
section.
Subpart G--Appeals Process
    Subpart G (Sec. Sec.  10.600 through 10.626) also continues largely 
unchanged; the changes that have been made were made to promote clarity 
and update the

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regulations to reflect changes in practice and technology that have 
taken place since the regulations were last updated.
Reconsiderations and Reviews by the Director
    Section 10.606 has been modified to add language requiring that 
reconsideration requests be signed and dated. This change has been made 
to clarify when such requests have been made and to allow OWCP to 
ascertain that the person (such as a representative) requesting 
reconsideration is authorized to do so at the time such request is 
made.
    Section 10.607 has been modified by changing the date of the 
reconsideration request for timeliness purposes from the date mailed to 
the date received by OWCP. This change has been made to promote 
efficiency in administering these requests; current electronic case 
files and associated scanning procedures and resources would be 
unnecessarily strained by the requirement to scan in every envelope 
from every letter sent to OWCP. Accordingly, the prior regulation which 
referenced the date of mailing on the envelope led to some uncertainty 
regarding when a request was filed. Rather than reduce the amount of 
time given to file the reconsideration request, OWCP has chosen simply 
to require that the request must have been received by OWCP within the 
one year period, a period which provides more than ample time to obtain 
the necessary evidence or make the legal arguments in support of a 
reconsideration request.
    Section 10.609 has been modified to note that OWCP will not wait 
for comments from an employing agency regarding a request for 
reconsideration when comments from the agency are not germane to the 
issue being resolved on reconsideration.
Hearings
    The sections governing hearings before the OWCP's Branch of 
Hearings and Review (BHR) have been modified to reference that 
procedures are available for reasonable accommodation in the hearing 
process. The sections include procedures for BHR to conduct hearings by 
teleconference and videoconference. Such methods although permissible 
under the regulations were not in active use at the time of the last 
regulation update. These sections have also been modified to clarify 
certain policies related to such processes and to provide discretion to 
utilize other technology to conduct hearings as it may become 
available. OWCP has found that use of teleconferences and 
videoconferences allows hearings to be held more quickly.
    Section 10.616 has been modified to accommodate the alternative 
types of hearings as described above.
    Section 10.617 has been amended to cover a number of policies that 
were previously not contained in the regulation. First, this section 
has been amended to note how an employee may request accommodations 
from BHR. This section has also been amended to note that hearings are 
generally limited to one hour, and to note that the transcript is the 
official record of the hearing. This section has also been modified to 
clarify the time limits for submitting comments following a hearing. 
Finally, a new paragraph (h) has been inserted as a reference to a 
statutory section that allows an OWCP hearing representative to certify 
any misconduct to a District Court for appropriate handling.
    Section 10.618 has been amended to clarify that when an employee 
requests that a hearing be changed to a review of the written record, 
all evidence should be submitted with that request.
    Section 10.619 has been amended to clarify that, if a request for a 
subpoena has been made, the requestor must explain why that subpoena is 
necessary at the time the request is made.
    Section 10.621 has been amended to clarify that it is in the 
discretion of the hearing representative whether the employing agency 
may be allowed to have more than one representative attend the hearing.
    Section 10.622 has been amended to accommodate the alternative 
forms of hearings discussed above and to explain how these types of 
hearings are handled with a monthly docket. Furthermore, this section 
has been amended to add new paragraph (d) which restores prior 
regulatory language addressing abandonment of hearings, as experience 
since that language was removed has shown that this section is 
necessary.
Review by the Employees' Compensation Appeals Board (ECAB)
    Section 10.626 has been amended to cross reference ECAB's rules of 
procedure to promote ease of use of these regulations.
Subpart H--Special Provisions
    While a majority of the provisions in subpart H (Sec. Sec.  10.700 
through 10.741) remain unchanged, some extensive changes have been made 
to certain portions of this subpart. This subpart has been changed to 
reference that an attorney associated with a law firm may represent 
claimants and to explicitly state that OWCP will communicate with the 
law firm. The regulation clarifies OWCP policy that contingency fees 
are not allowed under any circumstances. The FECA subrogation sections 
have been expanded to codify current practice; to promote transparency 
and clarity where a third party is responsible for an injury or death; 
and to better explain how subsequent FECA subrogation claims are 
handled. Finally, the provision relating to coverage of Peace Corps 
volunteers has been amended to restore statutory language concerning 
such coverage.
Representation
    Section 10.700 has been amended to clarify that where a claimant's 
representative is an attorney, OWCP may communicate with any attorney 
or employee in the attorney's law firm. This change has been made to 
comport with the normal practice of law firms, and to promote efficient 
administration of the program.
    Section 10.702 has been amended to clearly state that contingency 
fees are not allowed when representing beneficiaries under the FECA. 
This explicit language addressing contingency fees was removed during 
the last regulatory update; however, experience since that update has 
shown that the removal of this language caused some to believe that the 
ban on contingency fees had been removed as well.
    Section 10.703 has been amended to make clear that OWCP can only 
approve representative's fees for services that have been performed 
before OWCP and references that ECAB must approve fees for services 
performed in front of ECAB. This section has also been amended to 
clarify that contingency fees will not be approved for any reason. 
Contingency fees are not subject to the deemed approved process where a 
fee may be approved if a claimant concurs with such a fee. If the fee 
is disputed, the regulations provide that OWCP will consider the 
customary local charge for a representative with similar qualifications 
in considering what constitutes a reasonable fee.
    New Sec.  10.704 takes a sentence that was formerly the last 
sentence of Sec.  10.702 and makes that language its own section in the 
regulations to highlight that a person who collects a fee without OWCP 
approval may be charged with a misdemeanor. OWCP believes that adding 
this section is useful to provide notice of the potential consequences 
for failing to comport with the OWCP fee approval process.

[[Page 49601]]

Third Party Liability
    Section 10.705 has been amended to give the full address where 
information on subrogation claims may be sent.
    Section 10.707 has been amended to require that certain information 
be submitted in circumstances where the employee is not the only 
plaintiff in a suit.
    The provisions in 10.711 have been moved to 10.712 and the 
provisions in 10.712 have been moved to 10.711. The new order reflects 
the process of calculating the refund and surplus in accordance with 
the statement of recovery form CA-1108. New section 10.711 
substantially revises existing 10.712 by setting out in greater detail 
the manner in which the amount of recovery of the employee is 
determined including situations where property loss is part of the 
recovery or where loss of consortium or wrongful death and survival 
actions have been asserted. New section 10.711 reflects the procedures 
that have been in place for a number of years. New section 10.712 
clarifies that the crediting of a surplus is done against both wage-
loss compensation and medical benefits, sets out in greater detail the 
steps to follow in calculating the refund and surplus, and provides 
additional examples of how these calculations are made, including cases 
where loss of consortium and wrongful death and survival actions have 
been asserted.
    Section 10.714 has been amended to clarify that OWCP may seek 
reimbursement for all types of benefits paid to an employee when that 
employee has successfully sued a third party for that injury. This 
section was also amended to clarify how that employee may obtain a copy 
of the disbursements made by OWCP in their claim.
Peace Corps Volunteers
    Section 10.730 has been amended to restore the statutory language 
applicable to coverage of claims involving Peace Corps volunteers. The 
statutory language is a recognition of the difficulties for such 
volunteers to establish that certain injuries or illness are related to 
their covered activities. The change in language allows OWCP to 
consider evidence that controverts coverage, while still allowing the 
volunteer to establish the claim, and clarifies that a temporary 
aggravation of a preexisting condition may be paid without the 
necessity of accepting all disability related to that condition.
Subpart I--Information for Medical Providers
    A number of changes have been made to subpart I. The majority of 
these changes have been made to address OWCP's electronic bill 
processing system and to comport this processing with that done in 
other compensation programs administered by OWCP. This subpart has also 
been revised to modify the process by which OWCP excludes medical 
providers by including the Department of Labor's Office of Inspector 
General (DOL OIG) in the process.
Medical Records and Bills
    Section 10.800 has been amended to describe OWCP's provider 
enrollment process and automated bill processing and authorization 
system, which has been substantially revised since the last time the 
regulations were updated.
    Section 10.801 has been amended to clarify how medical bills are 
currently processed. In addition to those changes, this section has 
been amended to codify that OWCP may require nursing homes to abide by 
a fee schedule for admissions made after the effective date of the 
regulations, which will standardize billing practices and promote cost 
containment. This change was made to allow additional modifications to 
restrain medical costs. This section has also been amended to provide 
language making it clear that providers must adhere to accepted 
industry standards when billing. Since the advent of the automated bill 
processing system, OWCP wishes to make clear that billing practices 
such as upcoding and unbundling are not in accord with industry 
standards and such attempts to circumvent the fee schedule through 
practices described in that language are prohibited under the 
regulations.
    Section 10.802 has been amended to clarify how an injured employee 
currently seeks reimbursement for out of pocket expenses.
Medical Fee Schedule
    Section 10.805 has been revised in order to give the Director of 
OWCP the express authority to determine a fee schedule for services 
provided by nursing homes.
    Sections 10.806, 10.807 and 10.810 have been revised to update the 
indices used in determining maximum fees.
    Section 10.809 has been revised to clarify that the fee schedule 
regarding medicinal drugs applies whether the drugs are dispensed by a 
pharmacy or by a doctor in his office. This section has also been 
modified by providing OWCP the authority to require the use of a 
specific contract provider for medicinal drugs. This language has been 
added so that OWCP may explore the use of such providers to contract 
for better prices on such drugs. Finally, the authority to require the 
use of generic drugs has been moved to this section as new paragraph 
(c).
    Section 10.811 has been amended to clarify that OWCP will not 
correct procedure or diagnosis codes on submitted bills. Instead those 
bills will be returned to the provider for correction as the 
responsibility for proper submission lies with the provider.
Exclusion of Providers
    Section 10.815 has been amended by adding new sections (i) and (j) 
which set out additional reasons for excluding providers. These new 
reasons are failure to update a change in provider status and having 
engaged in conduct found by OWCP to be misleading, deceptive or unfair. 
Experience has shown that a number of ambiguities existed in the 
exclusion process. These new reasons for exclusion are meant to address 
any perceived loopholes.
    Section 10.816 has been amended to add new section (c), which 
clarifies that a provider may be voluntarily excluded without the 
exclusion procedures being initiated. This clarification is meant to 
address situations where providers agree to be excluded, for example, 
where a provider may be faced with criminal charges.
    Section 10.817 has been amended to provide that the DOL OIG is 
primarily responsible for investigating possible exclusions of 
providers. This duty was previously handled by OWCP; OWCP has no 
investigatory arm and lacks resources to carry out this responsibility. 
Accordingly, this change in the exclusion process has been made in an 
effort to improve administrative efficiency of this process.
    Sections 10.818 through 10.821 have been revised to change the 
deciding official in exclusion matters from just the Regional Director 
to the Regional Director or any other official specified by the 
Director of the Division of Federal Employees' Compensation. This 
change has been made in recognition of the fact that there may be 
instances (such as where more than one region is involved) where the 
Regional Director should not be the deciding official. These sections 
have also been modified to recognize the role of DOL OIG.
    Sections 10.823 through 10.824 have been modified to change the 
manner in which the administrative law judge's recommended decision 
becomes final.

[[Page 49602]]

Previously, the decision became final if no objection was filed, which 
could lead to confusion regarding the finality of this decision. 
Accordingly, these sections were changed to reflect that no recommended 
decision regarding exclusion will become final until the Director of 
OWCP issues the decision in final form.
    Section 10.825 has been amended to reflect current practices of 
OWCP, as OWCP may use discretion in determining who should receive the 
notice of exclusion.
    Section 10.826 has been modified to correct terminology and to 
clarify that the Director of OWCP can order reinstatement of excluded 
providers.
Subpart J--Death Gratuity
    Subpart J (Sec. Sec.  10.900 through 10.916) is unchanged.

20 CFR Part 25

    Section 8137 provides the conditions and parameters for FECA 
coverage for non-citizen non-resident employees of the United States, 
any territory, or Canada. Part 25 describes how benefits will be paid 
to such employees. Since the last time the regulations were revised in 
1999, OWCP encountered a number of situations where the current 
regulatory scheme proved difficult to administer. Although payment of 
FECA compensation across the board in all such cases remains 
substantially disproportionate, benefits payable under local law may be 
insufficient. Moreover, many of the distinctions and definitions such 
as those for third country and fourth country nationals do not comport 
with the current governmental hiring realities for non-citizen non-
resident employees. In conducting the comparison required by the 
current regulations between compensation payable under local law and 
that paid under FECA, OWCP encountered situations where the families of 
employees who were killed received very limited compensation under 
local law. However, payment of ongoing FECA benefits in such cases 
would result in disproportionately high payments and would pose 
administrative challenges in managing such cases on an ongoing basis. 
Under the statute, the Director has authority to create a special 
schedule. In the interests of fairness, the Director has created a new 
more comprehensive special schedule for disability that will pay 
benefits on an ongoing basis for up to two years and will pay a lump 
sum thereafter for cases of permanent total disability. Payment for 
death benefits will also be paid in a lump sum to facilitate benefit 
delivery and to ease administrative burdens.
Subpart A--General Provisions
    Section 25.1 has been revised to reflect a change in policy in the 
payment of compensation under the FECA to employees of the United 
States who are neither citizens nor residents of the United States, any 
territory or Canada, as well as any dependents of such employees. The 
proposed revision would modify the benefit structure for foreign 
nationals by using the authority under section 8137 to create a special 
schedule of compensation for foreign nationals to provide a reduced 
percentage of FECA benefits.
    Section 25.2(a) has been revised to provide that the special 
schedule set forth in subpart B would apply to any non-citizen non-
resident federal employee who is neither hired nor employed in the 
United States, Canada or in a possession or territory of the United 
States, with respect to any injury (or injury resulting in death) 
occurring subsequent to the effective date of the publication of the 
final rule in the Federal Register. This paragraph has also been 
amended to provide that the benefit provisions adopted under this 
paragraph shall apply to injuries that occur on or after 60 days after 
the publication of the final rule in the Federal Register.
    Section 25.2(b) has been revised to provide that the special 
schedule in subpart B shall apply to cases unless the injured non-
citizen non-resident employee receives compensation pursuant to a 
specific separate agreement between the United States and another 
government (or similar compensation from another sovereign government); 
or the employee receives compensation pursuant to the special schedule 
under subpart C; or the employee otherwise establishes entitlement to 
compensation under local law pursuant to section 25.100(e) of this 
part.
    Section 25.2(c) has been revised to provide that compensation in 
all cases of such non-citizen non-resident employees paid and closed 
prior to 60 days after the publication of the final rule in the Federal 
Register are deemed paid in full under 5 U.S.C. 8137.
    Section 25.2(d) has been revised to provide that the compensation 
received under the special schedule set forth in subpart B or as 
otherwise specified in 25.2(b) is the exclusive measure of compensation 
in cases of injury (or death from injury) to non-citizen non- resident 
employees of the United States.
    Section 25.2(e) was revised to clarify the information in former 
section 25.2(e) that compensation for disability and death of non-
citizen non-resident employees outside the United States under this 
part shall in no event exceed that generally payable under the FECA.
    Section 25.3 remains unchanged, providing that the Director has the 
authority to make lump-sum awards (in the manner prescribed by 5 U.S.C. 
8135) to settle claims pursuant to section 8137 of the FECA.
    Section 25.4 remains unchanged except for section (c) which is 
revised to read ``Verification of the employment and casualty by 
Department of Defense personnel'' instead of military personnel to 
reflect the responsibility for providing the type of evidence necessary 
to make a claim under this section resides with that department.
    Section 25.5 has been renumbered but otherwise remains unchanged, 
providing that an employee who is a permanent resident of any United 
States possession, territory, commonwealth or trust territory will 
receive full FECA benefits.
Subpart B--the Special Schedule of Compensation
    Section 25.100 has been amended to provide that the definitions 
under this subpart are generally the same as those provided under the 
rest of the FECA statute and regulations.
    25.101 has been modified to describe how compensation for temporary 
total and partial disability, and permanent total and permanent partial 
disability are paid to non-citizen non-resident employees. Provisions 
under the former section 25.101 for death benefits have been revised 
and currently appear in section 25.102.
    Section 25.101(a) has been amended to provide for temporary total 
disability, where the injured employee is disabled for less than two 
years. Under this provision, the employee receives 50 percent of the 
monthly pay during the period of such disability.
    Section 25.101(b) has been amended to provide for temporary partial 
disability, where the injured employee is unable to earn equivalent 
wages to those earned at the time of injury, but is not totally 
disabled for work. Under this section, the injured employee receives a 
proportional amount of compensation for the period of disability. The 
compensation amount is that portion of compensation for temporary total 
disability, as determined under paragraph (a) of this section, which is 
equal in percentage to the degree or percentage of physical impairment 
caused by the disability.
    Section 25.101(c) has been amended to provide for permanent total

[[Page 49603]]

disability, where the injured employee will be disabled for greater 
than two years. This section provides that the injured employee will 
receive a lump sum settlement, made by the manner prescribed under 5 
U.S.C. 8135, based on compensation equaling 50 percent of the monthly 
pay.
    Section 25.101(d) has been amended to provide for permanent partial 
disability, where there is permanent impairment involving the loss, or 
loss of use, of a member or function of the body. This section 
describes how compensation is paid for loss to scheduled members, and 
has been revised to be consistent with the time periods listed under 5 
U.S.C. 8107 and the regulations listed in 20 CFR 10.404. In addition to 
the revision of the time periods, this section has been amended to 
include the skin as a schedule member, for up to 205 weeks of 
compensation. This change is consistent with changes made under Part 
10. The employee will be paid in a lump sum according to 5 U.S.C. 8135, 
at 50 percent of the monthly pay.
    Section 25.101(e) has been amended to provide that if a beneficiary 
can show that the amount payable under the special schedule would be 
demonstrably less than the amount payable under the law of his home 
country, the Director has the discretion to pay an amount in excess of 
the special schedule of compensation under 5 U.S.C. 8137(a)(2)(A), not 
to exceed the amount payable under FECA. This section provides that to 
request such benefits, the beneficiary must submit the following 
information: translated copies of the applicable local statute as well 
as any regulations, policies and procedures the beneficiary asserts are 
applicable; and a translated copy of an opinion rendered by an attorney 
licensed in that jurisdiction or an advisory opinion from a court or 
administrative tribunal that explains the benefits payable to the 
beneficiary.
    Section 25.102 has been amended to describe how compensation for 
death of a non-citizen non-resident employee is paid. Section 25.102(a) 
has been amended to provide for burial expenses not to exceed $800. 
Sections 25.102(b)-(i) remain similar in the distribution of death 
benefits (as delineated in former sections 25.101(a)-(i)) but have been 
limited to a total of 50 percent of monthly pay. Section 25.102(j) has 
been added to provide that death benefits should be paid in a lump sum 
where practicable pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 8135.
    Section 25.102(k) has been added to provide if a beneficiary can 
show that the amount payable under the special schedule would be 
demonstrably less than the amount payable under the law of his home 
country, the Director has the discretion to pay an amount in excess of 
the special schedule under 5 U.S.C. 8137(a)(2)(A), not to exceed the 
amount payable under FECA. This section provides that the beneficiary 
must submit the same information as noted in section 25.101(e).
    Section 25.102(l) has been added to inform claimants that a FECA 
death gratuity of $65,000 may be payable for the death of a non-citizen 
non-resident employee should the death be a result of injury incurred 
in connection with service with an Armed Force in a contingency 
operation as set forth in subpart J of part 10.
Subpart C
    The provisions of subpart C are largely unchanged in this 
regulatory revision. Section 25.202 has been amended to adjust the 
maximum amount of compensation payable under that section for 
inflation, and to provide an automatic, yearly escalator to that 
amount.
    Section 25.203 has been amended to apply the special schedule 
created by subpart B to non-citizen, non-resident employees in the 
Territory of Guam, without the modifications contained in the prior 
regulations.

III. Administrative Requirements for the Proposed Rulemaking

Executive Order 12866

    This proposed regulatory action constitutes a ``significant'' rule 
within the meaning of Executive Order 12866 in that any executive 
agency could be required to participate in the development of claims 
for benefits under this regulatory action. The Department believes, 
however, that as this regulatory action merely updates existing 
regulations, this regulatory action will not have a significant 
economic impact on the economy, or any person or organization subject 
to the proposed changes. The Department has projected that the addition 
of the skin as an organ under the schedule award provision as well as 
the revision of the part 25 compensation for non-citizen non-resident 
employees will result in additional expenditures of $10,893,434 over 
ten years.
    This projection is based on a very limited amount of data and a 
single significant event could result in substantially higher than 
projected expenditures. This has been reviewed by the Office of 
Management and Budget for consistency with the President's priorities 
and the principles set forth in Executive Order 12866.

Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980

    This proposed rule has been reviewed in accordance with the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended by the Small Business 
Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, 5 U.S.C. 601-612. The 
Department has concluded that the rule does not involve regulatory and 
informational requirements regarding businesses, organizations, and 
governmental jurisdictions subject to regulation.

Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    This rule contains information collection requirements subject to 
the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq. The 
requirements set out in this rule were both submitted to and approved 
by the OMB under the OMB Control Numbers 1240-0001, 1240-0007, 1240-
0008, 1240-0009, 1240-0012, 1240-0013, 1240-0015, 1240-0016, 1240-0017, 
1240-0018, 1240-0019, 1240-0022, 1240-0044, 1240-0045, 1240-0046, 1240-
0047, 1240-0049, 1240-0050 and 1240-0051.

The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969

    The Department certifies that this proposed rule has been assessed 
in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental 
Policy Act of 1969, 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq. (NEPA). The Department 
concludes that NEPA requirements do not apply to this rulemaking 
because this proposed rule includes no provisions impacting the 
maintenance, preservation, or enhancement of a healthful environment.

Federal Regulations and Policies on Families

    The Department has reviewed this proposed rule in accordance with 
the requirements of section 654 of the Treasury and General Government 
Appropriations Act of 1999, 5 U.S.C. 601 note. These proposed 
regulations were not found to have a potential negative effect on 
family well-being as it is defined thereunder.

Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health 
Risks and Safety Risks

    The Department certifies that this proposed rule has been assessed 
regarding environmental health risks and safety risks that may 
disproportionately affect children. These proposed regulations were not 
found to have a potential negative effect on the health or safety of 
children.

[[Page 49604]]

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 and Executive Order 13132

    The Department has reviewed this proposed rule in accordance with 
the requirements of Executive Order 13132, 64 FR 43225 (Aug. 10, 1999), 
and the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, 2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq., 
and has found no potential or substantial direct effects on the States, 
on the relationship between the national government and the States, or 
on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various 
levels of government. As there is no Federal mandate contained herein 
that could result in increased expenditures by State, local, or tribal 
governments or by the private sector, the Department has not prepared a 
budgetary impact statement.

Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal 
Governments

    The Department has reviewed this proposed rule in accordance with 
Executive Order 13175, 65 FR 67249 (Nov. 9, 2000), and has determined 
that it does not have ``tribal implications.'' The proposed rule does 
not ``have substantial direct effects on one or more Indian tribes, on 
the relationship between the Federal government and Indian tribes, or 
on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal 
government and Indian tribes.''

Executive Order 12630: Governmental Actions and Interference With 
Constitutionally Protected Property Rights

    The Department has reviewed this proposed rule in accordance with 
Executive Order 12630, 53 FR 8859 (Mar. 15, 1988), and has determined 
that it does not contain any ``policies that have takings 
implications'' in regard to the ``licensing, permitting, or other 
condition requirements or limitations on private property use, or that 
require dedications or exactions from owners of private property.''

Executive Order 13211: Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

    The Department has reviewed this proposed regulation and has 
determined that the provisions of Executive Order 13211, 66 FR 28355 
(May 18, 2001), are not applicable as there are no direct or implied 
effects on energy supply, distribution, or use.

The Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a, as Amended

    Claims filed under these regulations are subject to the current 
Privacy Act System of Records, DOL/GOVT-1, Office of Workers' 
Compensation Programs, Federal Employees' Compensation Act File, 67 FR 
16826 (April 8, 2002).

Clarity of This Regulation

    Executive Order 12866, 58 FR 51735 (September 30, 1993), and the 
President's memorandum of June 1, 1998, require each agency to write 
all rules in plain language. The Department invites comments on how to 
make this proposed rule easier to understand.

List of Subjects in 20 CFR Parts 1, 10, and 25

    Administrative practice and procedure, Claims, Government 
employees, Labor, Workers' compensation.

    For reasons set forth in the preamble, the Office of Workers' 
Compensation Programs, Department of Labor, amends 20 CFR chapter I as 
follows:
    1. Part 1 is revised to read as follows:

PART 1--PERFORMANCE OF FUNCTIONS

Sec.
1.1 Under what authority does the Office of Workers' Compensation 
Programs operate?
1.2 What functions are assigned to OWCP?
1.3 What rules are contained in this chapter?
1.4 Where are other rules concerning OWCP functions found?
1.5 When was the former Bureau of Employees' Compensation abolished?
1.6 How were many of OWCP's current functions administered in the 
past?

    Authority:  5 U.S.C. 301, 8145 and 8149 (Reorganization Plan No. 
6 of 1950, 15 FR 3174, 3 CFR, 1949-1953 Comp., p. 1004, 64 Stat. 
1263); 42 U.S.C. 7384d and 7385s-10; E.O. 13179, 65 FR 77487, 3 CFR, 
2000 Comp., p. 321; Secretary of Labor's Order No. 13-71, 36 FR 
8155; Employment Standards Order No. 2-74, 39 FR 34722; Secretary of 
Labor's Order No. 10-2009, 74 FR 218.


Sec.  1.1  Under what authority does the Office of Workers' 
Compensation Programs operate?

    (a) The Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment Standards, by 
authority vested in him by the Secretary of Labor in Secretary's Order 
No. 13-71 (36 FR 8755), established in the Employment Standards 
Administration (ESA) an Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP) 
by Employment Standards Order No. 2-74 (39 FR 34722). The Assistant 
Secretary subsequently designated as the head thereof a Director who, 
under the general supervision of the Assistant Secretary, administered 
the programs assigned to OWCP by the Assistant Secretary.
    (b) Effective November 8, 2009, ESA was dissolved into its four 
component parts, including OWCP. Secretary of Labor's Order 10-2009 (74 
FR 218) cancelled or modified all prior orders and directives 
referencing ESA, devolved certain authorities and responsibilities of 
ESA to OWCP, and delegated authority to the Director, OWCP, to 
administer the programs now assigned directly to OWCP.


Sec.  1.2  What functions are assigned to OWCP?

    The Secretary of Labor has delegated authority and assigned 
responsibility to the Director of OWCP for the Department of Labor's 
programs under the following statutes:
    (a) The Federal Employees' Compensation Act, as amended and 
extended (5 U.S.C. 8101 et seq.), except 5 U.S.C. 8149 as it pertains 
to the Employees' Compensation Appeals Board.
    (b) The War Hazards Compensation Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. 1701 et 
seq.).
    (c) The War Claims Act of 1948, as amended (50 U.S.C. App. 2003 et 
seq.).
    (d) The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program 
Act of 2000, as amended (42 U.S.C. 7384 et seq.), except 42 U.S.C. 
7385s-15 as it pertains to the Office of the Ombudsman, and activities, 
pursuant to Executive Order 13179 (``Providing Compensation to 
America's Nuclear Weapons Workers'') of December 7, 2000, assigned to 
the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Secretary of Energy and 
the Attorney General.
    (e) The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, as amended 
and extended (33 U.S.C. 901 et seq.), except: 33 U.S.C. 919(d) with 
respect to administrative law judges in the Office of Administrative 
Law Judges; 33 U.S.C. 921(b) as it pertains to the Benefits Review 
Board; and activities, pursuant to 33 U.S.C. 941, assigned to the 
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
    (f) The Black Lung Benefits Act, as amended (30 U.S.C. 901 et 
seq.)., including 26 U.S.C. 9501, except: 33 U.S.C. 919(d) as 
incorporated by 30 U.S.C. 932(a), with respect to administrative law 
judges in the Office of Administrative Law Judges; and 33 U.S.C. 921(b) 
as incorporated by 30 U.S.C. 932(a), as it applies to the Benefits 
Review Board.


Sec.  1.3  What rules are contained in this chapter?

    The rules in this chapter are those governing the OWCP functions 
under the Federal Employees' Compensation Act, the War Hazards 
Compensation

[[Page 49605]]

Act, the War Claims Act and the Energy Employees Occupational Illness 
Compensation Program Act of 2000.


Sec.  1.4  Where are other rules concerning OWCP functions found?

    (a) The rules of OWCP governing its functions under the Longshore 
and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act and its extensions are set forth 
in subchapter A of chapter VI of this title.
    (b) The rules of OWCP governing its functions under the Black Lung 
Benefits Act program are set forth in subchapter B of chapter VI of 
this title.
    (c) The rules and regulations of the Employees' Compensation 
Appeals Board are set forth in chapter IV of this title.
    (d) The rules and regulations of the Benefits Review Board are set 
forth in Chapter VII of this title.


Sec.  1.5  When was the former Bureau of Employees' Compensation 
abolished?

    By Secretary of Labor's Order issued September 23, 1974 (39 FR 
34723), issued concurrently with Employment Standards Order 2-74 (39 FR 
34722), the Secretary revoked the prior Secretary's Order No. 18-67 (32 
FR 12979), which had delegated authority and assigned responsibility 
for the various workers' compensation programs enumerated in Sec.  1.2, 
except the Black Lung Benefits Program and the Energy Employees 
Occupational Illness Compensation Program not then in existence, to the 
Director of the former Bureau of Employees' Compensation.


Sec.  1.6  How were many of OWCP's current functions administered in 
the past?

    (a) Administration of the Federal Employees' Compensation Act and 
the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act was initially vested 
in an independent establishment known as the U.S. Employees' 
Compensation Commission. By Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1946 (3 CFR, 
1943-1949 Comp., p. 1064; 60 Stat. 1095, effective July 16, 1946), the 
Commission was abolished and its functions were transferred to the 
Federal Security Agency to be performed by a newly created Bureau of 
Employees' Compensation within such Agency. By Reorganization Plan No. 
19 of 1950 (15 FR 3178, 3 CFR, 1949-1954 Comp., page 1010, 64 Stat. 
1271), said Bureau was transferred to the Department of Labor (DOL), 
and the authority formerly vested in the Administrator, Federal 
Security Agency, was vested in the Secretary of Labor. By 
Reorganization Plan No. 6 of 1950 (15 FR 3174, 3 CFR, 1949-1953 Comp., 
page 1004, 64 Stat. 1263), the Secretary of Labor was authorized to 
make from time to time such provisions as he shall deem appropriate, 
authorizing the performance of any of his functions by any other 
officer, agency, or employee of the DOL.
    (b) In 1972, two separate organizational units were established 
within the Bureau: an Office of Workmen's Compensation Programs (37 FR 
20533) and an Office of Federal Employees' Compensation (37 FR 22979). 
In 1974, these two units were abolished and one organizational unit, 
the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, was established in lieu 
of the Bureau of Employees' Compensation (39 FR 34722).
    2. Part 10 is revised to read as follows:

PART 10--CLAIMS FOR COMPENSATION UNDER THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES' 
COMPENSATION ACT, AS AMENDED

Subpart A--General Provisions

Sec.

Introduction

10.0 What are the provisions of the FECA, in general?
10.1 What rules govern the administration of the FECA and this 
chapter?
10.2 What do these regulations contain?
10.3 Have the collection of information requirements of this part 
been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)?

Definitions and Forms

10.5 What definitions apply to these regulations?
10.6 What special statutory definitions apply to dependents and 
survivors?
10.7 What forms are needed to process claims under the FECA?

Information in Program Records

10.10 Are all documents relating to claims filed under the FECA 
considered confidential?
10.11 Who maintains custody and control of FECA records?
10.12 How may a FECA claimant or beneficiary obtain copies of 
protected records?
10.13 What process is used by a person who wants to correct FECA-
related documents?

Rights and Penalties

10.15 May compensation rights be waived?
10.16 What criminal and civil penalties may be imposed in connection 
with a claim under the FECA?
10.17 Is a beneficiary who defrauds the Government in connection 
with a claim for benefits still entitled to those benefits?
10.18 Can a beneficiary who is incarcerated based on a felony 
conviction still receive benefits?
Subpart B--Filing Notices and Claims; Submitting Evidence

Notices and Claims for Injury, Disease, and Death--Employee or 
Survivor's Actions

10.100 How and when is a notice of traumatic injury filed?
10.101 How and when is a notice of occupational disease filed?
10.102 How and when is a claim for wage loss compensation filed?
10.103 How and when is a claim for permanent impairment filed?
10.104 How and when is a claim for recurrence filed?
10.105 How and when is a notice of death and claim for benefits 
filed?

Notices and Claims for Injury, Disease, and Death--Employer's Actions

10.110 What should the employer do when an employee files a notice 
of traumatic injury or occupational disease?
10.111 What should the employer do when an employee files an initial 
claim for compensation due to disability or permanent impairment?
10.112 What should the employer do when an employee files a claim 
for continuing compensation due to disability?
10.113 What should the employer do when an employee dies from a 
work-related injury or disease?

Evidence and Burden of Proof

10.115 What evidence is needed to establish a claim?
10.116 What additional evidence is needed in cases based on 
occupational disease?
10.117 What happens if, in any claim, the employer contests any of 
the facts as stated by the claimant?
10.118 Does the employer participate in the claims process in any 
other way?
10.119 What action will OWCP take with respect to information 
submitted by the employer?
10.120 May a claimant submit additional evidence?
10.121 What happens if OWCP needs more evidence from the claimant?

Decisions on Entitlement to Benefits

10.125 How does OWCP determine entitlement to benefits?
10.126 What does the decision contain?
10.127 To whom is the decision sent?
Subpart C--Continuation of Pay
10.200 What is continuation of pay?

Eligibility for COP

10.205 What conditions must be met to receive COP?
10.206 May an employee who uses leave after an injury later decide 
to use COP instead?
10.207 May an employee who returns to work, then stops work again 
due to the effects of the injury, receive COP?

Responsibilities

10.210 What are the employee's responsibilities in COP cases?
10.211 What are the employer's responsibilities in COP cases?

[[Page 49606]]

Calculation of COP

10.215 How does OWCP compute the number of days of COP used?
10.216 How is the pay rate for COP calculated?
10.217 Is COP charged if the employee continues to work, but in a 
different job that pays less?

Controversion and Termination of COP

10.220 When is an employer not required to pay COP?
10.221 How is a claim for COP controverted?
10.222 When may an employer terminate COP which has already begun?
10.223 Are there other circumstances under which OWCP will not 
authorize payment of COP?
10.224 What happens if OWCP finds that the employee is not entitled 
to COP after it has been paid?
Subpart D--Medical and Related Benefits

Emergency Medical Care

10.300 What are the basic rules for authorizing emergency medical 
care?
10.301 May the physician designated on Form CA-16 refer the employee 
to another medical specialist or medical facility?
10.302 Should the employer authorize medical care if he or she 
doubts that the injury occurred, or that it is work-related?
10.303 Should the employer use a Form CA-16 to authorize medical 
testing when an employee is exposed to a workplace hazard just once?
10.304 Are there any exceptions to these procedures for obtaining 
medical care?

Medical Treatment and Related Issues

10.310 What are the basic rules for obtaining medical care?
10.311 What are the special rules for the services of chiropractors?
10.312 What are the special rules for the services of clinical 
psychologists?
10.313 Will OWCP pay for preventive treatment?
10.314 Will OWCP pay for the services of an attendant?
10.315 Will OWCP pay for transportation to obtain medical treatment?
10.316 After selecting a treating physician, may an employee choose 
to be treated by another physician instead?

Directed Medical Examinations

10.320 Can OWCP require an employee to be examined by another 
physician?
10.321 What happens if the opinion of the physician selected by OWCP 
differs from the opinion of the physician selected by the employee?
10.322 Who pays for second opinion and referee examinations?
10.323 What are the penalties for failing to report for or 
obstructing a second opinion or referee examination?
10.324 May an employer require an employee to undergo a physical 
examination in connection with a work-related injury?

Medical Reports

10.330 What are the requirements for medical reports?
10.331 How and when should the medical report be submitted?
10.332 What additional medical information will OWCP require to 
support continuing payment of benefits?
10.333 What additional medical information will OWCP require to 
support a claim for a schedule award?

Medical Bills

10.335 How are medical bills submitted?
10.336 What are the time frames for submitting bills?
10.337 If an employee is only partially reimbursed for a medical 
expense, must the provider refund the balance of the amount paid to 
the employee?
Subpart E--Compensation and Related Benefits

Compensation for Disability and Impairment

10.400 What is total disability?
10.401 When and how is compensation for total disability paid?
10.402 What is partial disability?
10.403 When and how is compensation for partial disability paid?
10.404 When and how is compensation for a schedule impairment paid?
10.405 Who is considered a dependent in a claim based on disability 
or impairment?
10.406 What are the maximum and minimum rates of compensation in 
disability cases?

Compensation for Death

10.410 Who is entitled to compensation in case of death, and what 
are the rates of compensation payable in death cases?
10.411 What are the maximum and minimum rates of compensation in 
death cases?
10.412 Will OWCP pay the costs of burial and transportation of the 
remains?
10.413 May a schedule award be paid after an employee's death?
10.414 What reports of dependents are needed in death cases?
10.415 What must a beneficiary do if the number of beneficiaries 
decreases?
10.416 How does a change in the number of beneficiaries affect the 
amount of compensation paid to the other beneficiaries?
10.417 What reports are needed when compensation payments continue 
for children over age 18?

Adjustments to Compensation

10.420 How are cost-of-living adjustments applied?
10.421 May a beneficiary receive other kinds of payments from the 
Federal Government concurrently with compensation?
10.422 May compensation payments be issued in a lump sum?
10.423 May compensation payments be assigned to, or attached by, 
creditors?
10.424 May someone other than the beneficiary be designated to 
receive compensation payments?
10.425 May compensation be claimed for periods of restorable leave?

Overpayments

10.430 How does OWCP notify an individual of a payment made?
10.431 What does OWCP do when an overpayment is identified?
10.432 How can an individual present evidence to OWCP in response to 
a preliminary notice of an overpayment?
10.433 Under what circumstances can OWCP waive recovery of an 
overpayment?
10.434 If OWCP finds that the recipient of an overpayment was not at 
fault, what criteria are used to decide whether to waive recovery of 
it?
10.435 Is an individual responsible for an overpayment that resulted 
from an error made by OWCP or another Government agency?
10.436 Under what circumstances would recovery of an overpayment 
defeat the purpose of the FECA?
10.437 Under what circumstances would recovery of an overpayment be 
against equity and good conscience?
10.438 Can OWCP require the individual who received the overpayment 
to submit additional financial information?
10.439 What is addressed at a pre-recoupment hearing?
10.440 How does OWCP communicate its final decision concerning 
recovery of an overpayment, and what appeal right accompanies it?
10.441 How are overpayments collected?
Subpart F--Continuing Benefits

Rules and Evidence

10.500 What are the basic rules governing continuing receipt of 
compensation benefits and return to work?
10.501 What medical evidence is necessary to support continuing 
receipt of compensation benefits?
10.502 How does OWCP evaluate evidence in support of continuing 
receipt of compensation benefits?
10.503 Under what circumstances may OWCP reduce or terminate 
compensation benefits?

Return to Work--Employer's Responsibilities

10.505 What actions must the employer take?
10.506 May the employer monitor the employee's medical care?
10.507 How should the employer make an offer of suitable work?
10.508 May relocation expenses be paid for an employee who would 
need to move to accept an offer of reemployment?
10.509 If an employee's light duty job is eliminated due to 
downsizing, what is the effect on compensation?
10.510 When may a light duty job form the basis of a loss of wage-
earning capacity determination?
10.511 How may a loss of wage-earning capacity determination be 
modified?

[[Page 49607]]

Return to Work--Employee's Responsibilities

10.515 What actions must the employee take with respect to returning 
to work?
10.516 How will an employee know if OWCP considers a job to be 
suitable?
10.517 What are the penalties for refusing to accept a suitable job 
offer?
10.518 Does OWCP provide services to help employees return to work?
10.519 What action will OWCP take if an employee refuses to undergo 
vocational rehabilitation?
10.520 How does OWCP determine compensation after an employee 
completes a vocational rehabilitation program?
10.521 If an employee elects to receive retirement benefits instead 
of FECA benefits, what effect may such an election have on that 
employee's entitlement to FECA compensation?

Reports of Earnings From Employment and Self-Employment

10.525 What information must the employee report?
10.526 Must the employee report volunteer activities?
10.527 Does OWCP verify reports of earnings?
10.528 What action will OWCP take if the employee fails to file a 
report of activity indicating an ability to work?
10.529 What action will OWCP take if the employee files an 
incomplete report?

Reports of Dependents

10.535 How are dependents defined, and what information must the 
employee report?
10.536 What is the penalty for failing to submit a report of 
dependents?
10.537 What reports are needed when compensation payments continue 
for children over age 18?

Reduction and Termination of Compensation

10.540 When and how is compensation reduced or terminated?
10.541 What action will OWCP take after issuing written notice of 
its intention to reduce or terminate compensation?
Subpart G--Appeals Process
10.600 How can final decisions of OWCP be reviewed?

Reconsiderations and Reviews by the Director

10.605 What is reconsideration?
10.606 How does a claimant request reconsideration?
10.607 What is the time limit for requesting reconsideration?
10.608 How does OWCP decide whether to grant or deny the request for 
reconsideration?
10.609 How does OWCP decide whether new evidence requires 
modification of the prior decision?
10.610 What is a review by the Director?

Hearings

10.615 What is a hearing?
10.616 How does a claimant obtain a hearing?
10.617 How is an oral hearing conducted?
10.618 How is a review of the written record conducted?
10.619 May subpoenas be issued for witnesses and documents?
10.620 Who pays the costs associated with subpoenas?
10.621 What is the employer's role when an oral hearing has been 
requested?
10.622 May a claimant withdraw a request for or postpone a hearing?

Review by the Employees' Compensation Appeals Board (ECAB)

10.625 What kinds of decisions may be appealed?
10.626 Who has jurisdiction of cases on appeal to the ECAB?
Subpart H--Special Provisions

Representation

10.700 May a claimant designate a representative?
10.701 Who may serve as a representative?
10.702 How are fees for services paid?
10.703 How are fee applications approved?
10.704 What penalties apply to representatives who collect a fee 
without approval?

Third Party Liability

10.705 When must an employee or other FECA beneficiary take action 
against a third party?
10.706 How will a beneficiary know if OWCP or SOL has determined 
that action against a third party is required?
10.707 What must a FECA beneficiary who is required to take action 
against a third party do to satisfy the requirement that the claim 
be ``prosecuted''?
10.708 Can a FECA beneficiary who refuses to comply with a request 
to assign a claim to the United States or to prosecute the claim in 
his or her own name be penalized?
10.709 What happens if a beneficiary directed by OWCP or SOL to take 
action against a third party does not believe that a claim can be 
successfully prosecuted at a reasonable cost?
10.710 Under what circumstances must a recovery of money or other 
property in connection with an injury or death for which benefits 
are payable under the FECA be reported to OWCP or SOL?
10.711 How is the amount of the recovery of the FECA beneficiary 
determined?
10.712 How much of any settlement or judgment must be paid to the 
United States?
10.713 How is a structured settlement (that is, a settlement 
providing for receipt of funds over a specified period of time) 
treated for purposes of reporting the gross recovery?
10.714 What amounts are included in the refundable disbursements?
10.715 Is a beneficiary required to pay interest on the amount of 
the refund due to the United States?
10.716 If the required refund is not paid within 30 days of the 
request for repayment, can it be collected from payments due under 
the FECA?
10.717 Is a settlement or judgment received as a result of 
allegations of medical malpractice in treating an injury covered by 
the FECA a gross recovery that must be reported to OWCP or SOL?
10.718 Are payments to a beneficiary as a result of an insurance 
policy which the beneficiary has purchased a gross recovery that 
must be reported to OWCP or SOL?
10.719 If a settlement or judgment is received for more than one 
wound or medical condition, can the refundable disbursements paid on 
a single FECA claim be attributed to different conditions for 
purposes of calculating the refund or credit owed to the United 
States?

Federal Grand and Petit Jurors

10.725 When is a Federal grand or petit juror covered under the 
FECA?
10.726 When does a juror's entitlement to disability compensation 
begin?
10.727 What is the pay rate of jurors for compensation purposes?

Peace Corps Volunteers

10.730 What are the conditions of coverage for Peace Corps 
volunteers and volunteer leaders injured while serving outside the 
United States?
10.731 What is the pay rate of Peace Corps volunteers and volunteer 
leaders for compensation purposes?

Non-Federal Law Enforcement Officers

10.735 When is a non-Federal law enforcement officer (LEO) covered 
under the FECA?
10.736 What are the time limits for filing a LEO claim?
10.737 How is a LEO claim filed, and who can file a LEO claim?
10.738 Under what circumstances are benefits payable in LEO claims?
10.739 What kind of objective evidence of a potential Federal crime 
must exist for coverage to be extended?
10.740 In what situations will OWCP automatically presume that a law 
enforcement officer is covered by the FECA?
10.741 HHow are benefits calculated in LEO claims?
Subpart I--Information for Medical Providers

Medical Records and Bills

10.800 How do providers enroll with OWCP for authorizations and 
billing?
10.801 How are medical bills to be submitted?
10.802 How should an employee prepare and submit requests for 
reimbursement for medical expenses, transportation costs, loss of 
wages, and incidental expenses?
10.803 What are the time limitations on OWCP's payment of bills?

Medical Fee Schedule

10.805 What services are covered by the OWCP fee schedule?
10.806 How are the maximum fees defined?
10.807 How are payments for particular services calculated?

[[Page 49608]]

10.808 Does the fee schedule apply to every kind of procedure?
10.809 How are payments for medicinal drugs determined?
10.810 How are payments for inpatient medical services determined?
10.811 When and how are fees reduced?
10.812 If OWCP reduces a fee, may a provider request reconsideration 
of the reduction?
10.813 If OWCP reduces a fee, may a provider bill the claimant for 
the balance?

Exclusion of Providers

10.815 What are the grounds for excluding a provider from payment 
under the FECA?
10.816 What will cause OWCP to automatically exclude a physician or 
other provider of medical services and supplies?
10.817 How are OWCP's exclusion procedures initiated?
10.818 How is a provider notified of OWCP's intent to exclude him or 
her?
10.819 What requirements must the provider's answer and OWCP's 
decision meet?
10.820 How can an excluded provider request a hearing?
10.821 How are hearings assigned and scheduled?
10.822 How are subpoenas or advisory opinions obtained?
10.823 How will the administrative law judge conduct the hearing and 
issue the recommended decision?
10.824 How does the recommended decision become final?
10.825 What are the effects of exclusion?
10.826 How can an excluded provider be reinstated?
Subpart J--Death Gratuity
10.900 What is the death gratuity under this subpart?
10.901 Which employees are covered under this subpart?
10.902 Does every employee's death due to injuries incurred in 
connection with his or her service with an Armed Force in a 
contingency operation qualify for the death gratuity?
10.903 Is the death gratuity payment applicable retroactively?
10.904 Does a death as a result of occupational disease qualify for 
payment of the death gratuity?
10.905 If an employee incurs a covered injury in connection with his 
or her service with an Armed Force in a contingency operation but 
does not die of the injury until years later, does the death qualify 
for payment of the death gratuity?
10.906 What special statutory definitions apply to survivors under 
this subpart?
10.907 What order of precedence will OWCP use to determine which 
survivors are entitled to receive the death gratuity payment under 
this subpart?
10.908 Can an employee designate alternate beneficiaries to receive 
a portion of the death gratuity payment?
10.909 How does an employee designate a variation in the order or 
percentage of gratuity payable to survivors and how does the 
employee designate alternate beneficiaries?
10.910 What if a person entitled to a portion of the death gratuity 
payment dies after the death of the covered employee but before 
receiving his or her portion of the death gratuity?
10.911 How is the death gratuity payment process initiated?
10.912 What is required to establish a claim for the death gratuity 
payment?
10.913 In what situations will OWCP consider that an employee 
incurred injury in connection with his or her service with an Armed 
Force in a contingency operation?
10.914 What are the responsibilities of the employing agency in the 
death gratuity payment process?
10.915 What are the responsibilities of OWCP in the death gratuity 
payment process?
10.916 How is the amount of the death gratuity calculated?

    Authority:  5 U.S.C. 301, 8102a, 8103, 8145 and 8149; 31 U.S.C. 
3716 and 3717; Reorganization Plan No. 6 of 1950, 15 FR 3174, 64 
Stat. 1263; Secretary of Labor's Order No. 10-2009, 74 FR 218.

Subpart A--General Provisions

Introduction


Sec.  10.0  What are the provisions of the FECA, in general?

    The Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA) as amended (5 U.S.C. 
8101 et seq.) provides for the payment of workers' compensation 
benefits to civilian officers and employees of all branches of the 
Government of the United States. The regulations in this part describe 
the rules for filing, processing, and paying claims for benefits under 
the FECA. Proceedings under the FECA are non-adversarial in nature.
    (a) The FECA has been amended and extended a number of times to 
provide workers' compensation benefits to volunteers in the Civil Air 
Patrol (5 U.S.C. 8141), members of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps 
(5 U.S.C. 8140), Peace Corps Volunteers (5 U.S.C. 8142), Job Corps 
enrollees and Volunteers in Service to America (5 U.S.C. 8143), members 
of the National Teachers Corps (5 U.S.C. 8143a), certain student 
employees (5 U.S.C. 5351 and 8144), certain law enforcement officers 
not employed by the United States (5 U.S.C. 8191-8193), and various 
other classes of persons who provide or have provided services to the 
Government of the United States.
    (b) The FECA provides for payment of several types of benefits, 
including compensation for wage loss, schedule awards, medical and 
related benefits, and vocational rehabilitation services for conditions 
resulting from injuries sustained in performance of duty while in 
service to the United States.
    (c) The FECA also provides for payment of monetary compensation to 
specified survivors of an employee whose death resulted from a work-
related injury and for payment of certain burial expenses subject to 
the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 8134.
    (d) All types of benefits and conditions of eligibility listed in 
this section are subject to the provisions of the FECA and of this 
part. This section shall not be construed to modify or enlarge upon the 
provisions of the FECA.


Sec.  10.1  What rules govern the administration of the FECA and this 
chapter?

    In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 8145 and Secretary's Order 5-96, the 
responsibility for administering the FECA, except for 5 U.S.C. 8149 as 
it pertains to the Employees' Compensation Appeals Board, has been 
delegated to the Director of the Office of Workers' Compensation 
Programs (OWCP). Except as otherwise provided by law, the Director, 
OWCP and his or her designees have the exclusive authority to 
administer, interpret and enforce the provisions of the Act.


Sec.  10.2  What do these regulations contain?

    This part 10 sets forth the regulations governing administration of 
all claims filed under the FECA, except to the extent specified in 
certain particular provisions. Its provisions are intended to assist 
persons seeking compensation benefits under the FECA, as well as 
personnel in the various Federal agencies and the Department of Labor 
who process claims filed under the FECA or who perform administrative 
functions with respect to the FECA. This part 10 applies to part 25 of 
this chapter except as modified by part 25. The various subparts of 
this part contain the following:
    (a) Subpart A. The general statutory and administrative framework 
for processing claims under the FECA. It contains a statement of 
purpose and scope, together with definitions of terms, descriptions of 
basic forms, information about the disclosure of OWCP records, and a 
description of rights and penalties under the FECA, including 
convictions for fraud.
    (b) Subpart B. The rules for filing notices of injury and claims 
for benefits under the FECA. It also addresses evidence and burden of 
proof, as well as the process of making decisions concerning 
eligibility for benefits.

[[Page 49609]]

    (c) Subpart C. The rules governing claims for and payment of 
continuation of pay.
    (d) Subpart D. The rules governing emergency and routine medical 
care, second opinion and referee medical examinations directed by OWCP, 
and medical reports and records in general. It also addresses the kinds 
of treatment which may be authorized and how medical bills are paid.
    (e) Subpart E. The rules relating to the payment of monetary 
compensation benefits for disability, impairment and death. It includes 
the provisions for identifying and processing overpayments of 
compensation.
    (f) Subpart F. The rules governing the payment of continuing 
compensation benefits. It includes provisions concerning the employee's 
and the employer's responsibilities in returning the employee to work. 
It also contains provisions governing reports of earnings and 
dependents, recurrences, and reduction and termination of compensation 
benefits.
    (g) Subpart G. The rules governing the appeals of decisions under 
the FECA. It includes provisions relating to hearings, 
reconsiderations, and appeals before the Employees' Compensation 
Appeals Board.
    (h) Subpart H. The rules concerning legal representation and for 
adjustment and recovery from a third party. It also contains provisions 
relevant to three groups of employees whose status requires special 
application of the provisions of the FECA: Federal grand and petit 
jurors, Peace Corps volunteers, and non-Federal law enforcement 
officers.
    (i) Subpart I. Information for medical providers. It includes rules 
for medical reports, medical bills, and the OWCP medical fee schedule, 
as well as the provisions for exclusion of medical providers.
    (j) Subpart J. Death Gratuity. The rules relating to the payment of 
the death gratuity benefit under 5 U.S.C. 8102a.


Sec.  10.3  Have the collection of information requirements of this 
part been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)?

    The collection of information requirements in this part have been 
approved by OMB and assigned OMB control numbers 1240-0001, 1240-0007, 
1240-0008, 1240-0009, 1240-0012, 1240-0013, 1240-0015, 1240-0016, 1240-
0017, 1240-0018, 1240-0019, 1240-0022, 1240-0044, 1240-0045, 1240-0046, 
1240-0047, 1240-0049, 1240-0050 and 1240-0051.

Definitions and Forms


Sec.  10.5  What definitions apply to these regulations?

    Certain words and phrases found in this part are defined in this 
section or in the FECA. Some other words and phrases that are used only 
in limited situations are defined in the later subparts of these 
regulations.
    (a) Benefits or Compensation in these regulations means 
Compensation as defined by the FECA at 5 U.S.C. 8101(12), which is the 
money OWCP pays to or on behalf of a beneficiary from the Employees' 
Compensation Fund. The terms Benefits and Compensation include payments 
for lost wages, loss of wage-earning capacity, and permanent physical 
impairment. The terms Benefits and Compensation also include the money 
paid to beneficiaries for an employee's death, including both death 
benefits and any death gratuity benefit. These two terms also include 
any other amounts paid out of the Employees' Compensation Fund for such 
things as medical treatment, medical examinations conducted at the 
request of OWCP as part of the claims adjudication process, vocational 
rehabilitation services under 5 U.S.C. 8111, services of an attendant 
and funeral expenses under 5 U.S.C. 8134, but do not include 
continuation of pay as provided by 5 U.S.C. 8118.
    (b) Beneficiary means an individual who is entitled to a benefit 
under the FECA and this part.
    (c) Claim means a written assertion of an individual's entitlement 
to benefits under the FECA, submitted in a manner authorized by this 
part.
    (d) Claimant means an individual whose claim has been filed.
    (e) Director means the Director of OWCP or a person designated to 
carry out his or her functions.
    (f) Disability means the incapacity, because of an employment 
injury, to earn the wages the employee was receiving at the time of 
injury. It may be partial or total.
    (g) Earnings from employment or self-employment means:
    (1) Gross earnings or wages before any deductions and includes the 
value of subsistence, quarters, reimbursed expenses and any other goods 
or services received in kind as remuneration; or
    (2) A reasonable estimate of the cost to have someone else perform 
the duties of an individual who accepts no remuneration. Neither lack 
of profits, nor the characterization of the duties as a hobby, removes 
an unremunerated individual's responsibility to report the estimated 
cost to have someone else perform his or her duties.
    (h) Employee means, but is not limited to, an individual who fits 
within one of the following listed groups:
    (1) A civil officer or employee in any branch of the Government of 
the United States, including an officer or employee of an 
instrumentality wholly owned by the United States pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 
8101(1)(A);
    (2) An individual rendering personal service to the United States 
similar to the service of a civil officer or employee of the United 
States, without pay or for nominal pay, when a statute authorizes the 
acceptance or use of the service, or authorizes payment of travel or 
other expenses of the individual pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 8101(1)(B);
    (3) An individual, other than an independent contractor or an 
individual employed by an independent contractor, employed on the 
Menominee Indian Reservation in Wisconsin in operations conducted under 
a statute relating to tribal timber and logging operations on that 
reservation pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 8101(1)(C);
    (4) An individual appointed to a position on the office staff of a 
former President under section 1(b) of the Act of August 25, 1958 (72 
Stat. 838) pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 8101(1)(E); or
    (5) An individual selected and serving as a Federal petit or grand 
juror pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 8101(1)(F).
    (i) Employer or Agency means any civil agency or instrumentality of 
the United States Government, or any other organization, group or 
institution employing an individual defined as an ``employee'' by this 
section. These terms also refer to officers and employees of an 
employer having responsibility for the supervision, direction or 
control of employees of that employer as an ``immediate superior,'' and 
to other employees designated by the employer to carry out the 
functions vested in the employer under the FECA and this part, 
including officers or employees delegated responsibility by an employer 
for authorizing medical treatment for injured employees.
    (j) Entitlement means entitlement to benefits as determined by OWCP 
under the FECA and the procedures described in this part.
    (k) FECA means the Federal Employees' Compensation Act, as amended.
    (l) Hospital services means services and supplies provided by 
hospitals within the scope of their practice as defined by State law.
    (m) Impairment means any anatomic or functional abnormality or 
loss. A permanent impairment is any such

[[Page 49610]]

abnormality or loss after maximum medical improvement has been 
achieved.
    (n) Knowingly means with knowledge, consciously, willfully or 
intentionally.
    (o) Medical services means services and supplies provided by or 
under the supervision of a physician. Reimbursable chiropractic 
services are limited to physical examinations (and related laboratory 
tests), x-rays performed to diagnose a subluxation of the spine and 
treatment consisting of manual manipulation of the spine to correct a 
subluxation.
    (p) Medical support services means services, drugs, supplies and 
appliances provided by a person other than a physician or hospital.
    (q) Occupational disease or illness means a condition produced by 
the work environment over a period longer than a single workday or 
shift.
    (r) OWCP means the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs.
    (s) Pay rate for compensation purposes means the employee's pay, as 
determined under 5 U.S.C. 8114, at the time of injury, the time 
disability begins or the time compensable disability recurs if the 
recurrence begins more than six months after the injured employee 
resumes regular full-time employment with the United States, whichever 
is greater, except as otherwise determined under 5 U.S.C. 8113 with 
respect to any period.
    (t) Physician means an individual defined as such in 5 U.S.C. 
8101(2), except during the period for which his or her license to 
practice medicine has been suspended or revoked by a State licensing or 
regulatory authority.
    (u) Qualified hospital means any hospital licensed as such under 
State law which has not been excluded under the provisions of subpart I 
of this part. Except as otherwise provided by regulation, a qualified 
hospital shall be deemed to be designated or approved by OWCP.
    (v) Qualified physician means any physician who has not been 
excluded under the provisions of subpart I of this part. Except as 
otherwise provided by regulation, a qualified physician shall be deemed 
to be designated or approved by OWCP.
    (w) Qualified provider of medical support services or supplies 
means any person, other than a physician or a hospital, who provides 
services, drugs, supplies and appliances for which OWCP makes payment, 
who possesses any applicable licenses required under State law, and who 
has not been excluded under the provisions of subpart I of this part.
    (x) Recurrence of disability means an inability to work after an 
employee has returned to work, caused by a spontaneous change in a 
medical condition which had resulted from a previous injury or illness 
without an intervening injury or new exposure to the work environment 
that caused the illness. This term also means an inability to work that 
takes place when a light-duty assignment made specifically to 
accommodate an employee's physical limitations due to his or her work-
related injury or illness is withdrawn or when the physical 
requirements of such an assignment are altered so that they exceed his 
or her established physical limitations. A recurrence of disability 
does not apply when a light-duty assignment is withdrawn for reasons of 
misconduct, non-performance of job duties or other downsizing or where 
a loss of wage-earning capacity determination as provided by 5 U.S.C. 
8115 is in place.
    (y) Recurrence of medical condition means a documented need for 
further medical treatment after release from treatment for the accepted 
condition or injury when there is no accompanying work stoppage. 
Continuous treatment for the original condition or injury is not 
considered a ``need for further medical treatment after release from 
treatment,'' nor is an examination without treatment.
    (z) Representative means an individual or law firm properly 
authorized by a claimant in writing to act for the claimant in 
connection with a claim or proceeding under the FECA or this part.
    (aa) Student means an individual defined at 5 U.S.C. 8101(17). Two 
terms used in that particular definition are further defined as 
follows:
    (1) Additional type of educational or training institution means a 
technical, trade, vocational, business or professional school 
accredited or licensed by the United States Government or a State 
Government or any political subdivision thereof providing courses of 
not less than three months duration, that prepares the individual for a 
livelihood in a trade, industry, vocation or profession.
    (2) Year beyond the high school level means:
    (i) The 12-month period beginning the month after the individual 
graduates from high school, provided he or she had indicated an 
intention to continue schooling within four months of high school 
graduation, and each successive 12-month period in which there is 
school attendance or the payment of compensation based on such 
attendance; or
    (ii) If the individual has indicated that he or she will not 
continue schooling within four months of high school graduation, the 
12-month period beginning with the month that the individual enters 
school to continue his or her education, and each successive 12-month 
period in which there is school attendance or the payment of 
compensation based on such attendance.
    (bb) Subluxation means an incomplete dislocation, off-centering, 
misalignment, fixation or abnormal spacing of the vertebrae which must 
be demonstrable on any x-ray film to an individual trained in the 
reading of x-rays.
    (cc) Surviving spouse means the husband or wife living with or 
dependent for support upon a deceased employee at the time of his or 
her death, or living apart for reasonable cause or because of the 
deceased employee's desertion, unless otherwise defined under the FECA 
for the specific benefit such as the FECA death gratuity at 5 U.S.C. 
8102a.
    (dd) Temporary aggravation of a pre-existing condition means that 
factors of employment have directly caused that condition to be more 
severe for a limited period of time and have left no greater impairment 
than existed prior to the employment injury.
    (ee) Traumatic injury means a condition of the body caused by a 
specific event or incident, or series of events or incidents, within a 
single workday or shift. Such condition must be caused by external 
force, including stress or strain, which is identifiable as to time and 
place of occurrence and member or function of the body affected.


Sec.  10.6  What special statutory definitions apply to dependents and 
survivors?

    (a) 5 U.S.C. 8133 provides that certain benefits are payable to 
certain enumerated survivors of employees who have died from an injury 
sustained in the performance of duty.
    (b) 5 U.S.C. 8148 also provides that certain other benefits may be 
payable to certain family members of employees who have been 
incarcerated due to a felony conviction.
    (c) 5 U.S.C. 8110(b) further provides that any employee who is 
found to be eligible for a basic benefit shall be entitled to have such 
basic benefit augmented at a specified rate for certain persons who 
live in the beneficiary's household or who are dependent upon the 
beneficiary for support.
    (d) 5 U.S.C. 8101, 8110, 8133, and 8148, which define the nature of 
such survivorship or dependency necessary

[[Page 49611]]

to qualify a beneficiary for a survivor's benefit or an augmented 
benefit, apply to the provisions of this part but not to the death 
gratuity provided under subpart J.
    (e) 5 U.S.C. 8102a provides the definitions for survivorship or 
dependency necessary to qualify as a beneficiary for a death gratuity 
benefit as well as allowing half the death gratuity benefit to be paid 
to alternate beneficiary.


Sec.  10.7  What forms are needed to process claims under the FECA?

    (a) Notice of injury, claims and certain specified reports shall be 
made on forms prescribed by OWCP. Employers shall not modify these 
forms or use substitute forms. Employers are expected to maintain an 
adequate supply of the basic forms needed for the proper recording and 
reporting of injuries.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Form No.                              Title
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(1) CA-1.....................  Federal Employee's Notice of Traumatic
                                Injury and Claim for Continuation of Pay/
                                Compensation.
(2) CA-2.....................  Notice of Occupational Disease and Claim
                                for Compensation.
(3) CA-2a....................  Notice of Employee's Recurrence of
                                Disability and Claim for Pay/
                                Compensation.
(4) CA-3.....................  Report of Work Status.
(5) CA-5.....................  Claim for Compensation by Widow, Widower
                                and/or Children.
(6) CA-5b....................  Claim for Compensation by Parents,
                                Brothers, Sisters, Grandparents, or
                                Grandchildren.
(7) CA-6.....................  Official Superior's Report of Employee's
                                Death.
(8) CA-7.....................  Claim for Compensation Due to Traumatic
                                Injury or Occupational Disease.
(9) CA-7a....................  Time Analysis Form.
(10) CA-7b...................  Leave Buy Back (LBB) Worksheet/
                                Certification and Election.
(11) CA-16...................  Authorization of Examination and/or
                                Treatment.
(12) CA-17...................  Duty Status Report.
(13) CA-20...................  Attending Physician's Report.
(14) CA-20a..................  Attending Physician's Supplemental
                                Report.
(15) CA-40...................  Designation of a Recipient of the Federal
                                Employees' Compensation Act Death
                                Gratuity Payment under Section 1105 of
                                Public Law 110-181 (Section 8102a).
(16) CA-41...................  Claim for Survivor Benefits Under the
                                Federal Employees' Compensation Act
                                Section 8102a Death Gratuity.
(17) CA-42...................  Official Notice of Employees' Death for
                                Purposes of FECA Section 8102a Death
                                Gratuity.
(18) CA-1108.................  Statement of Recovery Letter with Long
                                Form.
(19) CA-1122.................  Statement of Recovery Letter with Short
                                Form.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

     (b) Copies of the forms listed in this paragraph are available for 
public inspection at the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, U.S. 
Department of Labor, Washington, DC 20210. They may also be obtained 
from district offices, employers (i.e., safety and health offices, 
supervisors), and the Internet, at http://www.dol.gov.

Information in Program Records


Sec.  10.10  Are all documents relating to claims filed under the FECA 
considered confidential?

    All records relating to claims for benefits, including copies of 
such records maintained by an employer, are considered confidential and 
may not be released, inspected, copied or otherwise disclosed except as 
provided in the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act of 1974 
or under the routine uses provided by DOL/GOVT-1 if such release is 
consistent with the purpose for which the record was created.


Sec.  10.11  Who maintains custody and control of FECA records?

    All records relating to claims for benefits filed under the FECA, 
including any copies of such records maintained by an employing agency, 
are covered by the government-wide Privacy Act system of records 
entitled DOL/GOVT-1 (Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, Federal 
Employees' Compensation Act File). This system of records is maintained 
by and under the control of OWCP, and, as such, all records covered by 
DOL/GOVT-1 are official records of OWCP. The protection, release, 
inspection and copying of records covered by DOL/GOVT-1 shall be 
accomplished in accordance with the rules, guidelines and provisions of 
this part, as well as those contained in 29 CFR parts 70 and 71, and 
with the notice of the system of records and routine uses published in 
the Federal Register. All questions relating to access/disclosure, and/
or amendment of FECA records maintained by OWCP or the employing 
agency, are to be resolved in accordance with this section.


Sec.  10.12  How may a FECA claimant or beneficiary obtain copies of 
protected records?

    (a) A claimant seeking copies of his or her official FECA file 
should address a request to the District Director of the OWCP office 
having custody of the file. A claimant seeking copies of FECA-related 
documents in the custody of the employer should follow the procedures 
established by that agency.
    (b)(1) While an employing agency may establish procedures that an 
injured employee or beneficiary should follow in requesting access to 
documents it maintains, any decision issued in response to such a 
request must comply with the rules and regulations of the Department of 
Labor which govern all other aspects of safeguarding these records.
    (2) No employing agency has the authority to issue determinations 
with respect to requests for the correction or amendment of records 
contained in or covered by DOL/GOVT-1. That authority is within the 
exclusive control of OWCP. Thus, any request for correction or 
amendment received by an employing agency must be referred to OWCP for 
review and decision.
    (3) Any administrative appeal taken from a denial issued by the 
employing agency or OWCP shall be filed with the Solicitor of Labor in 
accordance with 29 CFR 71.7 and 71.9.


Sec.  10.13  What process is used by a person who wants to correct 
FECA-related documents?

    Any request to amend a record covered by DOL/GOVT-1 should be 
directed to the district office having custody of the official file. No 
employer has the authority to issue determinations with regard to 
requests for the correction of records contained in or covered by DOL/
GOVT-1. Any request for correction received by an employer must be 
referred to OWCP for review and decision.

[[Page 49612]]

Rights and Penalties


Sec.  10.15  May compensation rights be waived?

    No employer or other person may require an employee or other 
claimant to enter into any agreement, either before or after an injury 
or death, to waive his or her right to claim compensation under the 
FECA. No waiver of compensation rights shall be valid.


Sec.  10.16  What criminal and civil penalties may be imposed in 
connection with a claim under the FECA?

    (a) A number of statutory provisions make it a crime to file a 
false or fraudulent claim or statement with the Government in 
connection with a claim under the FECA, or to wrongfully impede a FECA 
claim. Included among these provisions are sections 287, 1001, 1920, 
and 1922 of title 18, United States Code. Enforcement of these and 
other provisions that may apply to claims under the FECA are within the 
jurisdiction of the Department of Justice.
    (b) In addition, administrative proceedings may be initiated under 
the Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act of 1986 (PFCRA), 31 U.S.C. 3801-
12, to impose civil penalties and assessments against persons who make, 
submit, or present, or cause to be made, submitted or presented, false, 
fictitious or fraudulent claims or written statements to OWCP in 
connection with a claim under the FECA. The Department of Labor's 
regulations implementing the PFRCA are found at 29 CFR part 22. 
Furthermore, a civil action to recover benefits paid erroneously under 
the FECA may be maintained under the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. 3729-
3733.


Sec.  10.17  Is a beneficiary who defrauds the Government in connection 
with a claim for benefits still entitled to those benefits?

    When a beneficiary either pleads guilty to or is found guilty on 
either Federal or State criminal charges of defrauding the Federal 
Government in connection with a claim for benefits, the beneficiary's 
entitlement to any further compensation benefits will terminate 
effective the date of conviction, which is the date of the verdict or, 
in the case of a plea bargain, the date the claimant made the plea in 
open court (not the date of sentencing or the date court papers were 
signed). The employing agency may, upon request, be required to provide 
the documentation needed for termination under this section. 
Termination of entitlement under this section is not affected by any 
subsequent change in or recurrence of the beneficiary's medical 
condition.


Sec.  10.18  Can a beneficiary who is incarcerated based on a felony 
conviction still receive benefits?

    (a) Whenever a beneficiary is incarcerated in a State or Federal 
jail, prison, penal institution or other correctional facility due to a 
State or Federal felony conviction, he or she forfeits all rights to 
compensation benefits during the period of incarceration. A 
beneficiary's right to compensation benefits for the period of his or 
her incarceration is not restored after such incarceration ends, even 
though payment of compensation benefits may resume. A beneficiary has 
an affirmative duty to provide notice of any conviction and 
imprisonment. The employing agency shall provide OWCP any information 
or documentation they may have concerning such matters.
    (b) If the beneficiary has eligible dependents, OWCP will pay 
compensation to such dependents at a reduced rate during the period of 
his or her incarceration, by applying the percentages of 5 U.S.C. 
8133(a)(1) through (5) to the beneficiary's gross current entitlement 
rather than to the beneficiary's monthly pay.
    (c) If OWCP's decision on entitlement is pending when the period of 
incarceration begins, and compensation is due for a period of time 
prior to such incarceration, payment for that period will only be made 
to the beneficiary following his or her release.

Subpart B--Filing Notices and Claims; Submitting Evidence

Notices and Claims for Injury, Disease, and Death--Employee or 
Survivor's Actions


Sec.  10.100  How and when is a notice of traumatic injury filed?

    (a) To claim benefits under the FECA, an employee who sustains a 
work-related traumatic injury must give notice of the injury in writing 
on Form CA-1, which may be obtained from the employer or from the 
Internet at www.dol.gov under forms. The employee must forward this 
notice to the employer. Another person, including the employer, may 
give notice of injury on the employee's behalf. The person submitting a 
notice shall include the Social Security Number (SSN) of the injured 
employee. All such notices should be submitted electronically wherever 
feasible to facilitate processing of such claims. All employers that 
currently do not have such capability should create such a method by 
December 31, 2012.
    (b) For injuries sustained on or after September 7, 1974, a notice 
of injury must be filed within three years of the injury. (The form 
contains the necessary words of claim.) The requirements for filing 
notice are further described in 5 U.S.C. 8119. Also see Sec.  10.205 
concerning time requirements for filing claims for continuation of pay.
    (1) If the claim is not filed within three years, compensation may 
still be allowed if notice of injury was given within 30 days or the 
employer had actual knowledge of the injury or death within 30 days 
after occurrence. This knowledge may consist of written records or 
verbal notification. An entry into an employee's medical record may 
also satisfy this requirement if it is sufficient to place the employer 
on notice of a possible work-related injury or disease.
    (2) OWCP may excuse failure to comply with the three-year time 
requirement because of truly exceptional circumstances (for example, 
being held prisoner of war).
    (3) The claimant may withdraw his or her claim (but not the notice 
of injury) by so requesting in writing to OWCP at any time before OWCP 
determines eligibility for benefits. Any continuation of pay (COP) 
granted to an employee after a claim is withdrawn must be charged to 
sick or annual leave, or considered an overpayment of pay consistent 
with 5 U.S.C. 5584, at the employee's option.
    (c) However, in cases of latent disability, the time for filing 
claim does not begin to run until the employee has a compensable 
disability and is aware, or reasonably should have been aware, of the 
causal relationship between the disability and the employment (see 5 
U.S.C. 8122(b)).


Sec.  10.101  How and when is a notice of occupational disease filed?

    (a) To claim benefits under the FECA, an employee who has a disease 
which he or she believes to be work-related must give notice of the 
condition in writing on Form CA-2, which may be obtained from the 
employer or from the Internet at www.dol.gov under forms. The employee 
must forward this notice to the employer. Another person, including the 
employer, may do so on the employee's behalf. The person submitting a 
notice shall include the Social Security Number (SSN) of the injured 
employee. All such notices should be submitted electronically wherever 
feasible to facilitate processing of such claims. All employers that 
currently do not have such capability should create such a method by 
December 31, 2012. The claimant may withdraw his or her claim (but not 
the notice of occupational disease) by so requesting in writing to OWCP 
at any

[[Page 49613]]

time before OWCP determines eligibility for benefits.
    (b) For occupational diseases sustained as a result of exposure to 
injurious work factors that occurs on or after September 7, 1974, a 
notice of occupational disease must be filed within three years of the 
onset of the condition. (The form contains the necessary words of 
claim.) The requirements for timely filing are described in Sec.  
10.100(b)(1) through (3).
    (c) However, in cases of latent disability, the time for filing 
claim does not begin to run until the employee has a compensable 
disability and is aware, or reasonably should have been aware, of the 
causal relationship between the disability and the employment (see 5 
U.S.C. 8122(b)).


Sec.  10.102  How and when is a claim for wage loss compensation filed?

    (a) Form CA-7 is used to claim compensation for periods of 
disability not covered by COP.
    (1) An employee who is disabled with loss of pay for more than 
three calendar days due to an injury, or someone acting on his or her 
behalf, must file Form CA-7 before compensation can be paid.
    (2) The employee shall complete the front of Form CA-7 and submit 
the form to the employer for completion and transmission to OWCP. The 
form should be completed as soon as possible, but no more than 14 
calendar days after the date pay stops due to the injury or disease. 
All such notices should be submitted electronically wherever feasible 
to facilitate processing of such claims. All employers that currently 
do not have such capability should create such a method by December 31, 
2012.
    (3) The requirements for filing claims are further described in 5 
U.S.C. 8121.
    (b) Form CA-7 is also used to claim compensation for additional 
periods of disability following the initial injury.
    (1) It is the employee's responsibility to submit Form CA-7. 
Without receipt of such claim, OWCP has no knowledge of continuing wage 
loss. Therefore, while disability continues, the employee should submit 
a claim on Form CA-7 each two weeks until otherwise instructed by OWCP.
    (2) The employee shall complete the front of Form CA-7 and submit 
the form to the employer for completion and transmission to OWCP.
    (3) The employee is responsible for submitting, or arranging for 
the submittal of, medical evidence to OWCP which establishes both that 
disability continues and that the disability is due to the work-related 
injury. Form CA-20a is submitted with Form CA-7 for this purpose.


Sec.  10.103  How and when is a claim for permanent impairment filed?

    Form CA-7 is used to claim compensation for impairment to a body 
part covered under the schedule established by 5 U.S.C. 8107. All such 
notices should be submitted electronically wherever feasible to 
facilitate processing of such claims. All employers that currently do 
not have such capability should create such a method by December 31, 
2012. If Form CA-7 has already been filed to claim disability 
compensation, an employee may file a claim for such impairment by 
sending a letter to OWCP which specifies the nature of the benefit 
claimed. OWCP may create a form specifically for schedule award claims; 
if that form is created, only that form may be used to file a claim 
under 5 U.S.C. 8107.


Sec.  10.104  How and when is a claim for recurrence filed?

    (a) A recurrence should be reported on Form CA-2a if it causes the 
employee to lose time from work and incur a wage loss, or if the 
employee experiences a renewed need for treatment after previously 
being released from care. However, a notice of recurrence should not be 
filed when a new injury, new occupational disease, or new event 
contributing to an already-existing occupational disease has occurred. 
In these instances, the employee should file Form CA-1 or CA-2.
    (b) The employee has the burden of establishing by the weight of 
reliable, probative and substantial evidence that the recurrence of 
disability is causally related to the original injury.
    (1) The employee must include a detailed factual statement as 
described on Form CA-2a. The employer may submit comments concerning 
the employee's statement.
    (2) The employee should arrange for the submittal of a detailed 
medical report from the attending physician as described on Form CA-2a. 
The employee should also submit, or arrange for the submittal of, 
similar medical reports for any examination and/or treatment received 
after returning to work following the original injury.
    (c) A claim for recurrence of disability is not available where 
OWCP has issued a loss of wage-earning capacity determination. Under 
that circumstance, the only method for claiming additional wage loss 
compensation is through a request to modify that determination. 
However, OWCP is not precluded from adjudicating a limited period of 
disability following the issuance of a loss of wage-earning capacity 
decision, i.e., where an employee has a demonstrated need for surgery.


Sec.  10.105  How and when is a notice of death and claim for benefits 
filed?

    (a) If an employee dies from a work-related traumatic injury or an 
occupational disease, any survivor may file a claim for death benefits 
using Form CA-5 or CA-5b, which may be obtained from the employer or 
from the Internet at http://www.dol.gov under forms. The survivor must 
provide this notice in writing and forward it to the employer. Another 
person, including the employer, may do so on the survivor's behalf. The 
survivor may also submit the completed Form CA-5 or CA-5b directly to 
OWCP. The survivor shall disclose the SSNs of all survivors on whose 
behalf claim for benefits is made in addition to the SSN of the 
deceased employee. All such notices should be submitted electronically 
wherever feasible to facilitate processing of such claims. All 
employers that currently do not have such capability should create such 
a method by December 31, 2012. The survivor may withdraw his or her 
claim (but not the notice of death) by so requesting in writing to OWCP 
at any time before OWCP determines eligibility for benefits.
    (b) For deaths that occur on or after September 7, 1974, a notice 
of death must be filed within three years of the death. The form 
contains the necessary words of claim. The requirements for timely 
filing are described in Sec.  10.100(b)(1) through (3).
    (c) However, in cases of death due to latent disability, the time 
for filing the claim does not begin to run until the survivor is aware, 
or reasonably should have been aware, of the causal relationship 
between the death and the employment (see 5 U.S.C. 8122(b)).
    (d) The filing of a notice of injury or occupational disease will 
satisfy the time requirements for a death claim based on the same 
injury or occupational disease. If an injured employee or someone 
acting on the employee's behalf does not file a claim before the 
employee's death, the right to claim compensation for disability other 
than medical expenses ceases and does not survive.
    (e) A survivor must be alive to receive any payment; there is no 
vested right to such payment. A report as described in Sec.  10.414 of 
this part must be filed once each year to support continuing payments 
of compensation.

[[Page 49614]]

Notices and Claims for Injury, Disease, and Death--Employer's Actions


Sec.  10.110  What should the employer do when an employee files a 
notice of traumatic injury or occupational disease?

    (a) The employer shall complete the agency portion of Form CA-1 
(for traumatic injury) or CA-2 (for occupational disease) no more than 
10 working days after receipt of notice from the employee. The employer 
shall also complete the Receipt of Notice and give it to the employee, 
along with copies of both sides of Form CA-1 or Form CA-2.
    (b) The employer must complete and transmit the form to OWCP within 
10 working days after receipt of notice from the employee if the injury 
or disease will likely result in:
    (1) A medical charge against OWCP;
    (2) Disability for work beyond the day or shift of injury;
    (3) The need for more than two appointments for medical examination 
and/or treatment on separate days, leading to time loss from work;
    (4) Future disability;
    (5) Permanent impairment; or
    (6) Continuation of pay pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 8118.
    (c) The employer should not wait for submittal of supporting 
evidence before sending the form to OWCP.
    (d) If none of the conditions in paragraph (b) of this section 
applies, the Form CA-1 or CA-2 shall be retained as a permanent record 
in the Employee Medical Folder in accordance with the guidelines 
established by the Office of Personnel Management.


Sec.  10.111  What should the employer do when an employee files an 
initial claim for compensation due to disability or permanent 
impairment?

    (a) Except for employees covered by paragraph (d) of this section, 
when an employee is disabled by a work-related injury and loses pay for 
more than three calendar days, or has a permanent impairment or serious 
disfigurement as described in 5 U.S.C. 8107, the employer shall furnish 
the employee with Form CA-7 for the purpose of claiming compensation.
    (b) If the employee is receiving continuation of pay (COP), the 
employer should give Form CA-7 to the employee by the 30th day of the 
COP period and submit the form to OWCP by the 40th day of the COP 
period. If the employee has not returned the form to the employer by 
the 40th day of the COP period, the employer should ask him or her to 
submit it as soon as possible.
    (c) Upon receipt of Form CA-7 from the employee, or someone acting 
on his or her behalf, the employer shall complete the appropriate 
portions of the form. As soon as possible, but no more than five 
working days after receipt from the employee, the employer shall 
forward the completed Form CA-7 and any accompanying medical report to 
OWCP.
    (d) Postal Service employees are not entitled to compensation or 
continuation of pay for the waiting period, the first three days of 
disability. Such employees may use annual leave, sick leave or leave 
without pay during that period; however, if the disability exceeds 14 
days, the employee may have their sick leave or annual leave reinstated 
or receive pay for the time spent on leave without pay. This waiting 
period does not apply to the provision of medical care, and days of 
time loss for medical treatment only with no work-related disability do 
not count as part of the waiting period. A Postal Service employee 
seeking wage loss compensation for this period should utilize Form CA-7 
to claim such benefits.


Sec.  10.112  What should the employer do when an employee files a 
claim for continuing compensation due to disability?

    (a) If the employee continues in a leave-without-pay status due to 
a work-related injury after the period of compensation initially 
claimed on Form CA-7, the employer shall furnish the employee with 
another Form CA-7 for the purpose of claiming continuing compensation.
    (b) Upon receipt of Form CA-7 from the employee, or someone acting 
on his or her behalf, the employer shall complete the appropriate 
portions of the form. As soon as possible, but no more than five 
working days after receipt from the employee, the employer shall 
forward the completed Form CA-7 and any accompanying medical report to 
OWCP.


Sec.  10.113  What should the employer do when an employee dies from a 
work-related injury or disease?

    (a) The employer shall immediately report a death due to a work-
related traumatic injury or occupational disease to OWCP by telephone, 
telegram, or facsimile (fax). No more than 10 working days after 
notification of the death, the employer shall complete and send Form 
CA-6 to OWCP.
    (b) When possible, the employer shall furnish a Form CA-5 or CA-5b 
to all persons likely to be entitled to compensation for death of an 
employee. The employer should also supply information about completing 
and filing the form.
    (c) The employer shall promptly transmit Form CA-5 or CA-5b to 
OWCP. The employer shall also promptly transmit to OWCP any other claim 
or paper submitted which appears to claim compensation on account of 
death.

Evidence and Burden of Proof


Sec.  10.115  What evidence is needed to establish a claim?

    Forms CA-1, CA-2, CA-5 and CA-5b describe the basic evidence 
required. OWCP may send a request for additional evidence to the 
claimant and to his or her representative, if any; however the burden 
of proof still remains with the claimant. Evidence should be submitted 
in writing. The evidence submitted must be reliable, probative and 
substantial. Each claim for compensation must meet five requirements 
before OWCP can accept it. These requirements, which the employee must 
establish to meet his or her burden of proof, are as follows:
    (a) The claim was filed within the time limits specified by the 
FECA;
    (b) The injured person was, at the time of injury, an employee of 
the United States as defined in 5 U.S.C. 8101(1) and Sec.  10.5(h) of 
this part;
    (c) The fact that an injury, disease or death occurred;
    (d) The injury, disease or death occurred while the employee was in 
the performance of duty; and
    (e) The medical condition for which compensation or medical 
benefits is claimed is causally related to the claimed injury, disease 
or death. Neither the fact that the condition manifests itself during a 
period of Federal employment, nor the belief of the claimant that 
factors of employment caused or aggravated the condition, is sufficient 
in itself to establish causal relationship.
    (f) In all claims, the claimant is responsible for submitting, or 
arranging for submittal of, a medical report from the attending 
physician. For wage loss benefits, the claimant must also submit 
medical evidence showing that the condition claimed is disabling. The 
rules for submitting medical reports are found in Sec. Sec.  10.330 
through 10.333.


Sec.  10.116  What additional evidence is needed in cases based on 
occupational disease?

    (a) The employee must submit the specific detailed information 
described on Form CA-2 and should submit any checklist (Form CA-35, A-
H) provided by the employer. OWCP has developed these checklists to 
address particular occupational diseases. The medical report should 
also include the information specified on the checklist for the 
particular disease claimed.

[[Page 49615]]

    (b) The employer should submit the specific detailed information 
described on Form CA-2 and on any checklist pertaining to the claimed 
disease.


Sec.  10.117  What happens if, in any claim, the employer contests any 
of the facts as stated by the claimant?

    (a) An employer who has reason to disagree with any aspect of the 
claimant's report shall submit a statement to OWCP that specifically 
describes the factual allegation or argument with which it disagrees 
and provide evidence or argument to support its position. The employer 
may include supporting documents such as witness statements, medical 
reports or records, or any other relevant information.
    (b) Any such statement shall be submitted to OWCP with the notice 
of traumatic injury or death, or within 30 calendar days from the date 
notice of occupational disease or death is received from the claimant. 
If the employer does not submit a written explanation to support the 
disagreement, OWCP may accept the claimant's report of injury as 
established. The employer may not use a disagreement with an aspect of 
the claimant's report to delay forwarding the claim to OWCP or to 
compel or induce the claimant to change or withdraw the claim.


Sec.  10.118  Does the employer participate in the claims process in 
any other way?

    (a) The employer is responsible for submitting to OWCP all relevant 
and probative factual and medical evidence in its possession, or which 
it may acquire through investigation or other means. Such evidence may 
be submitted at any time.
    (b) The employer may ascertain the events surrounding an injury and 
the extent of disability where it appears that an employee who alleges 
total disability may be performing other work, or may be engaging in 
activities which would indicate less than total disability. This 
authority is in addition to that given in Sec.  10.118(a). However, the 
provisions of the Privacy Act apply to any endeavor by the employer to 
ascertain the facts of the case (see Sec. Sec.  10.10 and 10.11).
    (c) The employer does not have the right, except as provided in 
subpart C of this part, to actively participate in the claims 
adjudication process.


Sec.  10.119  What action will OWCP take with respect to information 
submitted by the employer?

    OWCP will consider all evidence submitted appropriately, and OWCP 
will inform the employee, the employee's representative, if any, and 
the employer of any action taken. Where an employer contests a claim 
within 30 days of the initial submittal and the claim is later 
approved, OWCP will notify the employer of the rationale for approving 
the claim.


Sec.  10.120  May a claimant submit additional evidence?

    A claimant or a person acting on his or her behalf may submit to 
OWCP at any time any other evidence relevant to the claim.


Sec.  10.121  What happens if OWCP needs more evidence from the 
claimant?

    If the claimant submits factual evidence, medical evidence, or 
both, but OWCP determines that this evidence is not sufficient to meet 
the burden of proof, OWCP will inform the claimant of the additional 
evidence needed. The claimant will be allowed at least 30 days to 
submit the evidence required. OWCP is not required to notify the 
claimant a second time if the evidence submitted in response to its 
first request is not sufficient to meet the burden of proof.

Decisions on Entitlement to Benefits


Sec.  10.125  How does OWCP determine entitlement to benefits?

    (a) In reaching any decision with respect to FECA coverage or 
entitlement, OWCP considers the claim presented by the claimant, the 
report by the employer, and the results of such investigation as OWCP 
may deem necessary.
    (b) OWCP claims staff apply the law, the regulations, and its 
procedures to the facts as reported or obtained upon investigation. 
They also apply decisions of the Employees' Compensation Appeals Board 
and administrative decisions of OWCP as set forth in FECA Program 
Memoranda.


Sec.  10.126  What does the decision contain?

    The decision shall contain findings of fact and a statement of 
reasons. It is accompanied by information about the claimant's appeal 
rights, which may include the right to a hearing, a reconsideration, 
and/or a review by the Employees' Compensation Appeals Board. (See 
subpart G of this part.)


Sec.  10.127  To whom is the decision sent?

    A copy of the decision shall be mailed to the employee's last known 
address. If the employee has a designated representative before OWCP, a 
copy of the decision will also be mailed to the representative. A copy 
of the decision will also be sent to the employer.

Subpart C--Continuation of Pay


Sec.  10.200  What is continuation of pay?

    (a) For most employees who sustain a traumatic injury, the FECA 
provides that the employer must continue the employee's regular pay 
during any periods of resulting disability, up to a maximum of 45 
calendar days. This is called continuation of pay, or COP. The 
employer, not OWCP, pays COP. Unlike wage loss benefits, COP is subject 
to taxes and all other payroll deductions that are made from regular 
income.
    (b) The employer must continue the pay of an employee, except for 
Postal Service employees pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 8117 and as provided 
below in paragraph (c) of this section, who is eligible for COP, and 
may not require the employee to use his or her own sick or annual 
leave, unless the provisions of Sec. Sec.  10.200(c), 10.220, or 10.222 
apply. However, while continuing the employee's pay, the employer may 
controvert the employee's COP entitlement pending a final determination 
by OWCP. OWCP has the exclusive authority to determine questions of 
entitlement and all other issues relating to COP.
    (c) Postal Service employees are not entitled to continuation of 
pay for the first 3 days of temporary disability and may use annual, 
sick or leave without pay during that period, except that if the 
disability exceeds 14 days or is followed by permanent disability, the 
Postal Service employee may have that leave restored.
    (d) The FECA excludes certain persons from eligibility for COP. COP 
cannot be authorized for members of these excluded groups, which 
include but are not limited to: Persons rendering personal service to 
the United States similar to the service of a civil officer or employee 
of the United States, without pay or for nominal pay; volunteers (for 
instance, in the Civil Air Patrol and Peace Corps); Job Corps and Youth 
Conservation Corps enrollees; individuals in work- study programs, and 
grand or petit jurors (unless otherwise Federal employees).

Eligibility for COP


Sec.  10.205  What conditions must be met to receive COP?

    (a) To be eligible for COP, a person must:
    (1) Have a ``traumatic injury'' as defined at Sec.  10.5(ee) which 
is job-related and the cause of the disability, and/or the cause of 
lost time due to the need for medical examination and treatment;
    (2) File Form CA-1 within 30 days of the date of the injury (but if 
that form

[[Page 49616]]

is not available, using another form would not alone preclude receipt); 
and
    (3) Begin losing time from work due to the traumatic injury within 
45 days of the injury.
    (b) OWCP may find that the employee is not entitled to COP for 
other reasons consistent with the statute (see Sec.  10.220).


Sec.  10.206  May an employee who uses leave after an injury later 
decide to use COP instead?

    On Form CA-1, an employee may elect to use accumulated sick or 
annual leave, or leave advanced by the agency, instead of electing COP. 
The employee can change the election between leave and COP for 
prospective periods at any point while eligibility for COP remains. The 
employee may also change the election for past periods and request COP 
in lieu of leave already taken for the same period. In either 
situation, the following provisions apply:
    (a) The request must be made to the employer within one year of the 
date the leave was used or the date of the written approval of the 
claim by OWCP (if written approval is issued), whichever is later.
    (b) Where the employee is otherwise eligible, the agency shall 
restore leave taken in lieu of any of the 45 COP days. Where any of the 
45 COP days remain unused, the agency shall continue pay prospectively.
    (c) The use of leave may not be used to delay or extend the 45-day 
COP period or to otherwise affect the time limitation as provided by 5 
U.S.C. 8117. Therefore, any leave used during the period of eligibility 
counts towards the 45-day maximum entitlement to COP.


Sec.  10.207  May an employee who returns to work, then stops work 
again due to the effects of the injury, receive COP?

    If the employee recovers from disability and returns to work, then 
becomes disabled again and stops work, the employer shall pay any of 
the 45 days of entitlement to COP not used during the initial period of 
disability where:
    (a) The employee completes Form CA-2a and elects to receive regular 
pay;
    (b) OWCP did not deny the original claim for disability;
    (c) The disability recurs and the employee stops work within 45 
days of the time the employee first returned to work following the 
initial period of disability; and
    (d) Pay has not been continued for the entire 45 days.

Responsibilities


Sec.  10.210  What are the employee's responsibilities in COP cases?

    An employee who sustains a traumatic injury which he or she 
considers disabling, or someone authorized to act on his or her behalf, 
must take the following actions to ensure continuing eligibility for 
COP. The employee must:
    (a) Complete and submit Form CA-1 to the employing agency as soon 
as possible, but no later than 30 days from the date the traumatic 
injury occurred.
    (b) Ensure that medical evidence supporting disability resulting 
from the claimed traumatic injury, including a statement as to when the 
employee can return to his or her date of injury job, is provided to 
the employer within 10 calendar days after filing the claim for COP.
    (c) Ensure that relevant medical evidence is submitted to OWCP, and 
cooperate with OWCP in developing the claim.
    (d) Ensure that the treating physician specifies work limitations 
and provides them to the employer and/or representatives of OWCP.
    (e) Provide to the treating physician a description of any specific 
alternative positions offered the employee, and ensure that the 
treating physician responds promptly to the employer and/or OWCP, with 
an opinion as to whether and how soon the employee could perform that 
or any other specific position.


Sec.  10.211  What are the employer's responsibilities in COP cases?

    Once the employer learns of a traumatic injury sustained by an 
employee, it shall:
    (a) Provide a Form CA-1 and Form CA-16 to authorize medical care in 
accordance with Sec.  10.300. Failure to do so may mean that OWCP will 
not uphold any termination of COP by the employer.
    (b) Advise the employee of the right to receive COP, and the need 
to elect among COP, annual or sick leave or leave without pay, for any 
period of disability.
    (c) Inform the employee of any decision to controvert COP and/or 
terminate pay, and the basis for doing so.
    (d) Complete Form CA-1 and transmit it, along with all other 
available pertinent information, (including the basis for any 
controversion), to OWCP within 10 working days after receiving the 
completed form from the employee.

Calculation of COP


Sec.  10.215  How does OWCP compute the number of days of COP used?

    COP is payable for a maximum of 45 calendar days, and every day 
used is counted toward this maximum. The following rules apply:
    (a) Time lost on the day or shift of the injury does not count 
toward COP. (Instead, the agency must keep the employee in a pay status 
for that period);
    (b) The first COP day is the first day disability begins following 
the date of injury (providing it is within the 45 days following the 
date of injury), except where the injury occurs before the beginning of 
the work day or shift, in which case the date of injury is charged to 
COP;
    (c) Any part of a day or shift (except for the day of the injury) 
counts as a full day toward the 45 calendar day total;
    (d) Regular days off are included if COP has been used on the 
regular work days immediately preceding or following the regular day(s) 
off, and medical evidence supports disability; and
    (e) Leave used during a period when COP is otherwise payable is 
counted toward the 45-day COP maximum as if the employee had been in a 
COP status.
    (f) For employees with part-time or intermittent schedules, all 
calendar days on which medical evidence indicates disability are 
counted as COP days, regardless of whether the employee was or would 
have been scheduled to work on those days. The rate at which COP is 
paid for these employees is calculated according to Sec.  10.216(b).


Sec.  10.216  How is the pay rate for COP calculated?

    The employer shall calculate COP using the period of time and the 
weekly pay rate.
    (a) The pay rate for COP purposes is equal to the employee's 
regular ``weekly'' pay (the average of the weekly pay over the 
preceding 52 weeks).
    (1) The pay rate excludes overtime pay, but includes other 
applicable extra pay except to the extent prohibited by law.
    (2) Changes in pay or salary (for example, promotion, demotion, 
within-grade increases, termination of a temporary detail, etc.) which 
would have otherwise occurred during the 45-day period are to be 
reflected in the weekly pay determination.
    (b) The weekly pay for COP purposes is determined according to the 
following formulas:
    (1) For full or part-time workers (permanent or temporary) who work 
the

[[Page 49617]]

same number of hours each week of the year (or of the appointment), the 
weekly pay rate is the hourly pay rate (A) in effect on the date of 
injury multiplied by (x) the number of hours worked each week (B): A x 
B = Weekly Pay Rate.
    (2) For part-time workers (permanent or temporary) who do not work 
the same number of hours each week, but who do work each week of the 
year (or period of appointment), the weekly pay rate is an average of 
the weekly earnings, established by dividing (/) the total earnings 
(excluding overtime) from the year immediately preceding the injury (A) 
by the number of weeks (or partial weeks) worked in that year (B): A / 
B = Weekly Pay Rate.
    (3) For intermittent and seasonal workers, whether permanent or 
temporary, who do not work either the same number of hours or every 
week of the year (or period of appointment), the weekly pay rate is the 
average weekly earnings established by dividing (/) the total earnings 
during the full 12-month period immediately preceding the date of 
injury (excluding overtime) (A), by the number of weeks (or partial 
weeks) worked during that year (B) (that is, A / B); or 150 times the 
average daily wage earned in the employment during the days employed 
within the full year immediately preceding the date of injury divided 
by 52 weeks, whichever is greater.


Sec.  10.217  Is COP charged if the employee continues to work, but in 
a different job that pays less?

    If the employee cannot perform the duties of his or her regular 
position, but instead works in another job with different duties with 
no loss in pay, then COP is not chargeable. COP must be paid and the 
days counted against the 45 days authorized by law whenever an actual 
reduction of pay results from the injury, including a reduction of pay 
for the employee's normal administrative workweek that results from a 
change or diminution in his or her duties following an injury. However, 
this does not include a reduction of pay that is due solely to an 
employer being prohibited by law from paying extra pay to an employee 
for work he or she does not actually perform.

Controversion and Termination of COP


Sec.  10.220  When is an employer not required to pay COP?

    An employer shall continue the regular pay of an eligible employee 
without a break in time for up to 45 calendar days, except when, and 
only when:
    (a) The disability was not caused by a traumatic injury;
    (b) The employee is not a citizen of the United States or Canada;
    (c) No written claim was filed within 30 days from the date of 
injury;
    (d) The injury was not reported until after employment has been 
terminated;
    (e) The injury occurred off the employing agency's premises and was 
otherwise not within the performance of official duties;
    (f) The injury was caused by the employee's willful misconduct, 
intent to injure or kill himself or herself or another person, or was 
proximately caused by intoxication by alcohol or illegal drugs; or
    (g) Work did not stop until more than 45 days following the injury.


Sec.  10.221  How is a claim for COP controverted?

    When the employer stops an employee's pay for one of the reasons 
cited in Sec.  10.220, the employer must controvert the claim for COP 
on Form CA-1, explaining in detail the basis for the refusal. The final 
determination on entitlement to COP always rests with OWCP.


Sec.  10.222  When may an employer terminate COP which has already 
begun?

    (a) Where the employer has continued the pay of the employee, it 
may be stopped only when at least one of the following circumstances is 
present:
    (1) Medical evidence which on its face supports disability due to a 
work-related injury is not received within 10 calendar days after the 
claim is submitted (unless the employer's own investigation shows 
disability to exist). Where the medical evidence is later provided, 
however, COP shall be reinstated retroactive to the date of 
termination;
    (2) The medical evidence from the treating physician shows that the 
employee is not disabled from his or her regular position;
    (3) Medical evidence from the treating physician shows that the 
employee is not totally disabled, and the employee refuses a written 
offer of a suitable alternative position which is approved by the 
attending physician. If OWCP later determines that the position was not 
suitable, OWCP will direct the employer to grant the employee COP 
retroactive to the termination date.
    (4) The employee returns to work with no loss of pay;
    (5) The employee's period of employment expires or employment is 
otherwise terminated (as established prior to the date of injury);
    (6) OWCP directs the employer to stop COP; and/or
    (7) COP has been paid for 45 calendar days.
    (b) An employer may not interrupt or stop COP to which the employee 
is otherwise entitled because of a disciplinary action, unless a 
preliminary notice was issued to the employee before the date of injury 
and the action becomes final or otherwise takes effect during the COP 
period.
    (c) An employer cannot otherwise stop COP unless it does so for one 
of the reasons found in this section or Sec.  10.220. Where an employer 
stops COP, it must file a controversion with OWCP, setting forth the 
basis on which it terminated COP, no later than the effective date of 
the termination.


Sec.  10.223  Are there other circumstances under which OWCP will not 
authorize payment of COP?

    When OWCP finds that an employee or his or her representative 
refuses or obstructs a medical examination required by OWCP, the right 
to COP is suspended until the refusal or obstruction ceases. COP 
already paid or payable for the period of suspension is forfeited. If 
already paid, the COP may be charged to annual or sick leave or 
considered an overpayment of pay consistent with 5 U.S.C. 5584.


Sec.  10.224  What happens if OWCP finds that the employee is not 
entitled to COP after it has been paid?

    Where OWCP finds that the employee is not entitled to COP after it 
has been paid, the employee may chose to have the time charged to 
annual or sick leave, or considered an overpayment of pay under 5 
U.S.C. 5584. The employer must correct any deficiencies in COP as 
directed by OWCP.

Subpart D--Medical and Related Benefits

Emergency Medical Care


Sec.  10.300  What are the basic rules for authorizing emergency 
medical care?

    (a) When an employee sustains a work-related traumatic injury that 
requires medical examination, medical treatment, or both, the employer 
shall authorize such examination and/or treatment by issuing a Form CA-
16. This form may be used for occupational disease or illness only if 
the employer has obtained prior permission from OWCP.
    (b) The employer shall issue Form CA-16 within four hours of the 
claimed injury. If the employer gives verbal authorization for such 
care, he or she should issue a Form CA-16 within 48 hours. The employer 
is not required to issue a Form CA-16 more than one week after the 
occurrence of the claimed injury. The employer may not authorize

[[Page 49618]]

examination or medical or other treatment in any case that OWCP has 
disallowed.
    (c) Form CA-16 must contain the full name and address of the 
qualified physician or qualified medical facility authorized to provide 
service. The authorizing official must sign and date the form and must 
state his or her title. Form CA-16 authorizes treatment for 60 days 
from the date of injury, unless OWCP terminates the authorization 
sooner.
    (d) The employer should advise the employee of the right to his or 
her initial choice of physician. The employer shall allow the employee 
to select a qualified physician, after advising him or her of those 
physicians excluded under subpart I of this part. The physician may be 
in private practice, including a health maintenance organization (HMO), 
or employed by a Federal agency such as the Department of the Army, 
Navy, Air Force, or Veterans Affairs. Any qualified physician may 
provide initial treatment of a work-related injury in an emergency. See 
also Sec.  10.825(b).


Sec.  10.301  May the physician designated on Form CA-16 refer the 
employee to another medical specialist or medical facility?

    The physician designated on Form CA-16 may refer the employee for 
further examination, testing, or medical care. OWCP will pay this 
physician or facility's bill on the authority of Form CA-16. The 
employer should not issue a second Form CA-16.


Sec.  10.302  Should the employer authorize medical care if he or she 
doubts that the injury occurred, or that it is work-related?

    If the employer doubts that the injury occurred, or that it is 
work-related, he or she should authorize medical care by completing 
Form CA-16 and checking block 6B of the form. If the medical and 
factual evidence sent to OWCP shows that the condition treated is not 
work-related, OWCP will notify the employee, the employer, and the 
physician or hospital that OWCP will not authorize payment for any 
further treatment.


Sec.  10.303  Should the employer use a Form CA-16 to authorize medical 
testing when an employee is exposed to a workplace hazard just once?

    (a) Simple exposure to a workplace hazard, such as an infectious 
agent, does not constitute a work-related injury entitling an employee 
to medical treatment under the FECA. The employer therefore should not 
use a Form CA-16 to authorize medical testing for an employee who has 
merely been exposed to a workplace hazard, unless the employee has 
sustained an identifiable injury or medical condition as a result of 
that exposure. OWCP will authorize preventive treatment only under 
certain well-defined circumstances (see Sec.  10.313).
    (b) Employers may be required under other statutes or regulations 
to provide their employees with medical testing and/or other services 
in situations described in paragraph (a) of this section. For example, 
regulations issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration 
at 29 CFR chapter XVII require employers to provide their employees 
with medical consultations and/or examinations when they either exhibit 
symptoms consistent with exposure to a workplace hazard, or when an 
identifiable event such as a spill, leak or explosion occurs and 
results in the likelihood of exposure to a workplace hazard. In 
addition, 5 U.S.C. 7901 authorizes employers to establish health 
programs whose staff can perform tests for workplace hazards, counsel 
employees for exposure or feared exposure to such hazards, and provide 
health care screening and other associated services.


Sec.  10.304  Are there any exceptions to these procedures for 
obtaining medical care?

    In cases involving emergencies or unusual circumstances, OWCP may 
authorize treatment in a manner other than as stated in this subpart.

Medical Treatment and Related Issues


Sec.  10.310  What are the basic rules for obtaining medical care?

    (a) The employee is entitled to receive all medical services, 
appliances or supplies which a qualified physician prescribes or 
recommends and which OWCP considers necessary to treat the work-related 
injury. Billing for these services is described in subpart I of this 
part. The employee need not be disabled to receive such treatment. If 
there is any doubt as to whether a specific service, appliance or 
supply is necessary to treat the work-related injury, the employee 
should consult OWCP prior to obtaining it through the automated 
authorization process described in Sec.  10.800. OWCP may also utilize 
the services of a field nurse to facilitate and coordinate medical care 
for the employee. OWCP may contract with a specific provider or 
providers to supply such services or appliances, including durable 
medical equipment and prescribed medications.
    (b) Any qualified physician or qualified hospital may provide such 
services, appliances and supplies. Non-physician providers such as 
physicians' assistants, nurse practitioners and physical therapists may 
also provide authorized services for injured employees to the extent 
allowed by applicable Federal and State law.
    (c) Where OWCP has not contracted for the provision of appliances 
or supplies, only a supplier of durable medical equipment, which is a 
provider that is registered in Medicare's Durable Medical Equipment, 
Prosthetics, Orthotics and Supplies Competitive Bidding Process, may 
furnish such appliances and supplies. OWCP may apply a test of cost-
effectiveness to appliances and supplies, may offset the cost of prior 
rental payments against a future purchase price, and may provide 
refurbished appliances where appropriate.


Sec.  10.311  What are the special rules for the services of 
chiropractors?

    (a) The services of chiropractors that may be reimbursed are 
limited by the FECA to treatment to correct a spinal subluxation. The 
costs of physical and related laboratory tests performed by or required 
by a chiropractor to diagnose such a subluxation are also payable.
    (b) In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 8101(3), a diagnosis of spinal 
``subluxation as demonstrated by X-ray to exist'' must appear in the 
chiropractor's report before OWCP can consider payment of a 
chiropractor's bill.
    (c) A chiropractor may interpret his or her x-rays to the same 
extent as any other physician. To be given any weight, the medical 
report must state that x-rays support the finding of spinal 
subluxation. OWCP will not necessarily require submittal of the x-ray, 
or a report of the x-ray, but the report must be available for 
submittal on request.
    (d) A chiropractor may also provide services in the nature of 
physical therapy under the direction of, and as prescribed by, a 
qualified physician.


Sec.  10.312  What are the special rules for the services of clinical 
psychologists?

    A clinical psychologist may serve as a physician only within the 
scope of his or her practice as defined by State law. Therefore, a 
clinical psychologist may not serve as a physician for conditions that 
include a physical component unless the applicable State law allows 
clinical psychologists to treat physical conditions. A clinical 
psychologist may also perform testing, evaluation and other services 
under the direction of a qualified physician.


Sec.  10.313  Will OWCP pay for preventive treatment?

    The FECA does not authorize payment for preventive measures such as 
vaccines and inoculations, and in general, preventive treatment may be 
a responsibility of the employing agency

[[Page 49619]]

under the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 7901 (see Sec.  10.303). However, OWCP 
can authorize treatment for the following conditions, even though such 
treatment is designed, in part, to prevent further injury:
    (a) Complications of preventive measures which are provided or 
sponsored by the agency, such as an adverse reaction to prophylactic 
immunization.
    (b) Actual or probable exposure to a known contaminant due to an 
injury, thereby requiring disease-specific measures against infection. 
Examples include the provision of tetanus antitoxin or booster toxoid 
injections for puncture wounds; administration of rabies vaccine for a 
bite from a rabid or potentially rabid animal; or appropriate measures 
where exposure to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has occurred.
    (c) Conversion of tuberculin reaction from negative to positive 
following exposure to tuberculosis in the performance of duty. In this 
situation, the appropriate therapy may be authorized.
    (d) Where injury to one eye has resulted in loss of vision, 
periodic examination of the uninjured eye to detect possible 
sympathetic involvement of the uninjured eye at an early stage.


Sec.  10.314  Will OWCP pay for the services of an attendant?

    Yes, OWCP will pay for the services of an attendant where the need 
for such services has been medically documented. In the exercise of the 
discretion afforded by 5 U.S.C. 8111(a), the Director has determined 
that, except where attendant service payments were being made prior to 
January 4, 1999, direct payments to the claimant to cover such services 
will no longer be made. Rather, the cost of providing attendant 
services will be paid under section 8103 of the Act, and medical bills 
for these services will be considered under Sec.  10.801, so long as 
the personal care services have been determined to be medically 
necessary and are provided by a home health aide, licensed practical 
nurse, or similarly trained individual, subject to requirements 
specified by OWCP. By paying for the services under section 8103, OWCP 
can better determine whether the services provided are necessary, and 
what type of provider is most qualified to provide adequate care to 
meet the needs of the injured employee. In addition, a system requiring 
the personal care provider to submit a bill to OWCP, where the amount 
billed will be subject to OWCP's fee schedule, will result in greater 
fiscal accountability.


Sec.  10.315  Will OWCP pay for transportation to obtain medical 
treatment?

    (a) The employee is entitled to reimbursement of reasonable and 
necessary expenses, including transportation needed to obtain 
authorized medical services, appliances or supplies. To determine what 
is a reasonable distance to travel, OWCP will consider the availability 
of services, the employee's condition, and the means of transportation. 
Generally, a roundtrip distance of up to 100 miles is considered a 
reasonable distance to travel. Travel should be undertaken by the 
shortest route, and if practical, by public conveyance. If the medical 
evidence shows that the employee is unable to use these means of 
transportation, OWCP may authorize travel by taxi or special 
conveyance.
    (b) For non-emergency medical treatment, if roundtrip travel of 
more than 100 miles is contemplated, or air transportation or overnight 
accommodations will be needed, the employee must submit a written 
request to OWCP for prior authorization with information describing the 
circumstances and necessity for such travel expenses. OWCP will approve 
the request if it determines that the travel expenses are reasonable 
and necessary, and are incident to obtaining authorized medical 
services, appliances or supplies. Requests for travel expenses that are 
often approved include those resulting from referrals to a specialist 
for further medical treatment, and those involving air transportation 
of an employee who lives in a remote geographical area with limited 
local medical services.
    (c) If a claimant disagrees with the decision of OWCP that 
requested travel expenses are either not reasonable or necessary, or 
are not incident to obtaining authorized medical services or supplies, 
he or she may utilize the appeals process described in subpart G of 
this part.
    (d) The standard form designated for medical travel refund requests 
is Form OWCP-957 and must be used to seek reimbursement under this 
section. This form can be obtained from OWCP.


Sec.  10.316  After selecting a treating physician, may an employee 
choose to be treated by another physician instead?

    (a) When the physician originally selected to provide treatment for 
a work-related injury refers the employee to a specialist for further 
medical care, the employee need not consult OWCP for approval. In all 
other instances, however, the employee must submit a written request to 
OWCP with his or her reasons for desiring a change of physician.
    (b) OWCP will approve the request if it determines that the reasons 
submitted are sufficient. Requests that are often approved include 
those for transfer of care from a general practitioner to a physician 
who specializes in treating conditions like the work-related one, or 
the need for a new physician when an employee has moved. The employer 
may not authorize a change of physicians.

Directed Medical Examinations


Sec.  10.320  Can OWCP require an employee to be examined by another 
physician?

    OWCP sometimes needs a second opinion from a medical specialist. 
The employee must submit to examination by a qualified physician as 
often and at such times and places as OWCP considers reasonably 
necessary. The employee may have a qualified physician, paid by him or 
her, present at such examination. However, the employee is not entitled 
to have anyone else present at the examination unless there is 
rationalized medical evidence that establishes that someone else is 
needed in the room or OWCP decides that exceptional circumstances 
exist. Where an employee requires an accommodation, such as where a 
hearing-impaired employee needs an interpreter, the presence of an 
interpreter will be allowed. Also, OWCP may send a case file for second 
opinion review where actual examination is not needed, or where the 
employee is deceased.


Sec.  10.321  What happens if the opinion of the physician selected by 
OWCP differs from the opinion of the physician selected by the 
employee?

    (a) If one medical opinion holds more probative value, OWCP will 
base its determination of entitlement on that medical conclusion (see 
Sec.  10.502). A difference in medical opinion sufficient to be 
considered a conflict occurs when two reports of virtually equal weight 
and rationale reach opposing conclusions (see James P. Roberts, 31 ECAB 
1010 (1980)).
    (b) If a conflict exists between the medical opinion of the 
employee's physician and the medical opinion of either a second opinion 
physician or an OWCP medical adviser or consultant, OWCP shall appoint 
a third physician to make an examination (see Sec.  10.502). This is 
called a referee or impartial examination. OWCP will select a physician 
who is qualified in the appropriate specialty and who has had

[[Page 49620]]

no prior connection with the case. The employee is not entitled to have 
anyone present at the examination unless OWCP decides that exceptional 
circumstances exist. For example, where a hearing-impaired employee 
needs an interpreter, the presence of an interpreter would be allowed. 
Also, a case file may be sent for referee or impartial medical review 
where there is no need for an actual examination, or where the employee 
is deceased.


Sec.  10.322  Who pays for second opinion and referee examinations?

    OWCP will pay second opinion and referee medical specialists 
directly. OWCP will reimburse the employee all necessary and reasonable 
expenses incident to such an examination, including transportation 
costs and actual wages lost for the time needed to submit to an 
examination required by OWCP.


Sec.  10.323  What are the penalties for failing to report for or 
obstructing a second opinion or referee examination?

    (a) If an employee refuses to submit to or in any way obstructs an 
examination required by OWCP, including testing such as functional 
capacity determinations conducted in connection with an OWCP-directed 
medical examination, his or her right to compensation under the FECA is 
suspended under 5 U.S.C. 8123(d) until such refusal or obstruction 
stops. The action of the employee's representative is considered to be 
the action of the employee for purposes of this section. The employee 
will forfeit compensation otherwise paid or payable under the FECA for 
the period of the refusal or obstruction, and any compensation already 
paid for that period will be declared an overpayment and will be 
subject to recovery pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 8129.
    (b) If the employee does not report for an OWCP-directed 
examination or in any way obstructs this examination, he or she may 
provide an explanation to OWCP within 14 days. If this explanation does 
not establish good cause for the employee's actions, entitlement to 
compensation will be suspended in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 8123(d). 
Should the employee subsequently agree to attend the examination or 
cease the obstruction (as expressed in writing or by telephone 
documented on Form CA-110), OWCP will restore any periodic benefits to 
which the employee is entitled when the employee actually reports for 
and cooperates with the examination. Payment is retroactive to the date 
the employee agreed to attend or cease obstruction of the examination.


Sec.  10.324  May an employer require an employee to undergo a physical 
examination in connection with a work-related injury?

    The employer may have authority independent of the FECA to require 
the employee to undergo a medical examination to determine whether he 
or she meets the medical requirements of the position held or can 
perform the duties of that position. Nothing in the FECA or in this 
part affects such authority. However, no agency-required examination or 
related activity shall interfere with the employee's initial choice of 
physician or the provision of any authorized examination or treatment, 
including the issuance of Form CA-16.

Medical Reports


Sec.  10.330  What are the requirements for medical reports?

    In all cases reported to OWCP, a medical report from the attending 
physician is required. This report should include:
    (a) Dates of examination and treatment;
    (b) History given by the employee;
    (c) Physical findings;
    (d) Results of diagnostic tests;
    (e) Diagnosis;
    (f) Course of treatment;
    (g) A description of any other conditions found but not due to the 
claimed injury;
    (h) The treatment given or recommended for the claimed injury;
    (i) The physician's opinion, with medical reasons, as to causal 
relationship between the diagnosed condition(s) and the factors or 
conditions of the employment;
    (j) The extent of disability affecting the employee's ability to 
work due to the injury;
    (k) The prognosis for recovery; and
    (l) All other material findings.


Sec.  10.331  How and when should the medical report be submitted?

    (a) Form CA-16 may be used for the initial medical report; Form CA-
20 may be used for the initial report and for subsequent reports; and 
Form CA-20a may be used where continued compensation is claimed. Use of 
medical report forms is not required, however. The report may also be 
made in narrative form on the physician's letterhead stationery. The 
report should bear the physician's signature or signature stamp. OWCP 
may require an original signature on the report.
    (b) The report shall be submitted directly to OWCP as soon as 
possible after medical examination or treatment is received, either by 
the employee or the physician. (See also Sec.  10.210.) The employer 
may request a copy of the report from OWCP. The employer should use 
Form CA-17 to obtain interim reports concerning the duty status of an 
employee with a disabling injury.


Sec.  10.332  What additional medical information will OWCP require to 
support continuing payment of benefits?

    In all cases of serious injury or disease, especially those 
requiring hospital treatment or prolonged care, OWCP will request 
detailed narrative reports from the attending physician at periodic 
intervals. The physician will be asked to describe continuing medical 
treatment for the condition accepted by OWCP, a prognosis, a 
description of work limitations, if any, and the physician's opinion as 
to the continuing causal relationship between the employee's condition 
and factors of his or her Federal employment.


Sec.  10.333  What additional medical information will OWCP require to 
support a claim for a schedule award?

    To support a claim for a schedule award, a medical report must 
contain accurate measurements of the function of the organ or member, 
in accordance with the American Medical Association's Guides to the 
Evaluation of Permanent Impairment as described in Sec.  10.404. These 
measurements may include: the actual degree of loss of active or 
passive motion or deformity; the amount of atrophy; the decrease, if 
any, in strength; the disturbance of sensation; pain due to nerve 
impairment; the diagnosis of the condition; and functional impairment 
ratings.

Medical Bills


Sec.  10.335  How are medical bills submitted?

    Usually, medical providers submit bills directly to OWCP or to a 
bill processing agent designated by OWCP. The rules for submitting and 
paying bills are stated in subpart I of this part. An employee claiming 
reimbursement of medical expenses should submit an itemized bill as 
described in Sec.  10.802.


Sec.  10.336  What are the time frames for submitting bills?

    To be considered for payment, bills must be submitted by the end of 
the calendar year after the year when the expense was incurred, or by 
the end of the calendar year after the year when OWCP first accepted 
the claim as compensable, whichever is later.

[[Page 49621]]

Sec.  10.337  If an employee is only partially reimbursed for a medical 
expense, must the provider refund the balance of the amount paid to the 
employee?

    (a) The OWCP fee schedule sets maximum limits on the amounts 
payable for many services (see Sec.  10.805). The employee may be only 
partially reimbursed for medical expenses because the amount he or she 
paid to the medical provider for a service exceeds the maximum 
allowable charge set by the OWCP fee schedule.
    (b) If this happens, OWCP shall advise the employee of the maximum 
allowable charge for the service in question and of his or her 
responsibility to ask the provider to refund to the employee, or credit 
to the employee's account, the amount he or she paid which exceeds the 
maximum allowable charge. The provider may request reconsideration of 
the fee determination as set forth in Sec. Sec.  10.812 and 10.813.
    (c) If the provider does not refund to the employee or credit to 
his or her account the amount of money paid in excess of the charge 
which OWCP allows, the employee should submit documentation of the 
attempt to obtain such refund or credit to OWCP. OWCP may make 
reasonable reimbursement to the employee after reviewing the facts and 
circumstances of the case.

Subpart E--Compensation and Related Benefits

Compensation for Disability and Impairment


Sec.  10.400  What is total disability?

    (a) Permanent total disability is presumed to result from the loss 
of use of both hands, both arms, both feet, or both legs, or the loss 
of sight of both eyes. 5 U.S.C. 8105(b). However, the presumption of 
permanent total disability as a result of such loss may be rebutted by 
evidence to the contrary, such as evidence of continued ability to work 
and to earn wages despite the loss.
    (b) Temporary total disability is defined as the inability to 
return to the position held at the time of injury or earn equivalent 
wages, or to perform other gainful employment, due to the work-related 
injury. Except as presumed under paragraph (a) of this section, an 
employee's disability status is always considered temporary pending 
return to work.


Sec.  10.401  When and how is compensation for total disability paid?

    (a) Compensation is payable when an employee starts to lose pay if 
the injury causes permanent disability or if pay loss continues for 
more than 14 calendar days. Otherwise, compensation is payable on the 
fourth day after pay stops pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 8117. Compensation may 
not be paid while an injured employee is in a continuation of pay 
status or receives pay for leave or, for Postal Service employees, for 
the first three days of temporary disability, except for medical or 
vocational rehabilitation benefits.
    (b) Compensation for total disability is payable at the rate of 
66\2/3\ percent of the pay rate if the employee has no dependents, or 
75 percent of the pay rate if the employee has at least one dependent. 
(``Dependents'' are defined at 5 U.S.C. 8110(a).)


Sec.  10.402  What is partial disability?

    An injured employee who cannot return to the position held at the 
time of injury (or earn equivalent wages) due to the work-related 
injury, but who is not totally disabled for all gainful employment, is 
considered to be partially disabled.


Sec.  10.403  When and how is compensation for partial disability paid?

    (a) 5 U.S.C. 8115 outlines how compensation for partial disability 
is determined. If the employee has actual earnings which fairly and 
reasonably represent his or her wage-earning capacity, those earnings 
will form the basis for payment of compensation for partial disability. 
(See Sec. Sec.  10.500 through 10.521 concerning return to work.) If 
the employee's actual earnings do not fairly and reasonably represent 
his or her wage-earning capacity, or if the employee has no actual 
earnings, OWCP uses the factors stated in 5 U.S.C. 8115 to select a 
position which represents his or her wage-earning capacity, which 
include the nature of the injury, the degree of physical impairment, 
the usual employment, the age of the employee, the employee's 
qualifications for other employment and the availability of suitable 
employment. However, OWCP will not secure employment for the employee 
in the position selected for establishing a wage-earning capacity.
    (b) Compensation for partial disability is payable as a percentage 
of the difference between the employee's pay rate for compensation 
purposes and the employee's wage-earning capacity. The percentage is 
66\2/3\ percent of this difference if the employee has no dependents, 
or 75 percent of this difference if the employee has at least one 
dependent.
    (c) The formula which OWCP uses to compute the compensation payable 
for partial disability employs the following terms: Pay rate for 
compensation purposes, which is defined in Sec.  10.5(s) of this part; 
current pay rate, which means the salary or wages for the job held at 
the time of injury at the time of the determination; and earnings, 
which means the employee's actual earnings, or the salary or pay rate 
of the position selected by OWCP as representing the employee's wage-
earning capacity.
    (d) The employee's wage-earning capacity in terms of percentage is 
computed by dividing the employee's earnings by the current pay rate. 
The comparison of earnings and ``current'' pay rate for the job held at 
the time of injury need not be made as of the beginning of partial 
disability. OWCP may use any convenient date for making the comparison 
as long as both wage rates are in effect on the date used for 
comparison.
    (e) The employee's wage-earning capacity in terms of dollars is 
computed by first multiplying the pay rate for compensation purposes by 
the percentage of wage-earning capacity. The resulting dollar amount is 
then subtracted from the pay rate for compensation purposes to obtain 
the employee's loss of wage-earning capacity.


Sec.  10.404  When and how is compensation for a schedule impairment 
paid?

    Compensation is provided for specified periods of time for the 
permanent loss or loss of use of certain members, organs and functions 
of the body. Such loss or loss of use is known as permanent impairment. 
Compensation for proportionate periods of time is payable for partial 
loss or loss of use of each member, organ or function. 5 U.S.C. 
8107(b)(19). OWCP evaluates the degree of impairment to schedule 
members, organs and functions as defined in 5 U.S.C. 8107 according to 
the standards set forth in the specified (by OWCP) edition of the 
American Medical Association's Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent 
Impairment.
    (a) 5 U.S.C. 8107(c) provides compensation for loss to the 
following list of schedule members:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                             Member                               Weeks
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Arm............................................................      312
Leg............................................................      288
Hand...........................................................      244
Foot...........................................................      205
Eye............................................................      160
Thumb..........................................................       75
First Finger lost..............................................       46
Great toe......................................................       38
Second finger..................................................       30
Third finger...................................................       25
Toe other than great toe.......................................       16
Fourth finger..................................................       15
Hearing, one ear...............................................       52

[[Page 49622]]


Hearing, both ears.............................................      200
------------------------------------------------------------------------

     (b) Pursuant to the authority provided by 5 U.S.C. 8107(c)(22), 
the Secretary has added the following organs to the compensation 
schedule for injuries that were sustained on or after September 7, 
1974, except that a schedule award for the skin may be paid for 
injuries on or after September 11, 2001:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                             Member                               Weeks
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Breast (one)...................................................       52
Kidney (one)...................................................      156
Larynx.........................................................      160
Lung (one).....................................................      156
Penis..........................................................      205
Testicle (one).................................................       52
Tongue.........................................................      160
Ovary (one)....................................................       52
Uterus/cervix and vulva/vagina.................................      205
Skin...........................................................      205
------------------------------------------------------------------------

     (c) Compensation for schedule awards is payable at 66\2/3\ percent 
of the employee's pay, or 75 percent of the pay when the employee has 
at least one dependent.
    (d) The period of compensation payable under 5 U.S.C. 8107(c) shall 
be reduced by the period of compensation paid or payable under the 
schedule for an earlier injury if:
    (1) Compensation in both cases is for impairment of the same member 
or function or different parts of the same member or function, or for 
disfigurement; and
    (2) OWCP finds that compensation payable for the later impairment 
in whole or in part would duplicate the compensation payable for the 
pre-existing impairment.
    (e) Compensation not to exceed $3,500 may be paid for serious 
disfigurement of the face, head or neck which is likely to handicap a 
person in securing or maintaining employment. Under 5 U.S.C. 8107(21), 
a disfigurement award may be paid concurrently with schedule awards.


Sec.  10.405  Who is considered a dependent in a claim based on 
disability or impairment?

    (a) Dependents include a wife or husband; an unmarried child under 
18 years of age; an unmarried child over 18 who is incapable of self-
support; a student, until he or she reaches 23 years of age or 
completes four years of school beyond the high school level; or a 
wholly dependent parent.
    (b) Augmented compensation payable for an unmarried child, which 
would otherwise terminate when the child reached the age of 18, may be 
continued while the child is a student as defined in 5 U.S.C. 8101(17).


Sec.  10.406  What are the maximum and minimum rates of compensation in 
disability cases?

    (a) Compensation for total or partial disability may not exceed 75 
percent of the basic monthly pay of the highest step of grade 15 of the 
General Schedule. (Basic monthly pay does not include locality 
adjustments.) However, this limit does not apply to disability 
sustained in the performance of duty which was due to an assault which 
occurred during an attempted assassination of a Federal official 
described under 18 U.S.C. 351(a) or 1751(a).
    (b) Compensation for total disability may not be less than 75 
percent of the basic monthly pay of the first step of grade 2 of the 
General Schedule or actual pay, whichever is less. (Basic monthly pay 
does not include locality adjustments.)

Compensation for Death


Sec.  10.410  Who is entitled to compensation in case of death, and 
what are the rates of compensation payable in death cases?

    (a) Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 8133, benefits may be paid to eligible 
dependents of an employee whose death results from an injury sustained 
in the performance of duty. This benefit is separate and distinct from 
a death gratuity benefit under 5 U.S.C. 8102a and subpart J of these 
regulations.
    (b) If there is no child entitled to compensation, the employee's 
surviving spouse will receive compensation equal to 50 percent of the 
employee's monthly pay until death or remarriage before reaching age 
55. Upon remarriage, the surviving spouse will be paid a lump sum equal 
to 24 times the monthly compensation payment (excluding compensation 
payable on account of another individual) to which the surviving spouse 
was entitled immediately before the remarriage. If remarriage occurs at 
age 55 or older, the lump-sum payment will not be paid and compensation 
will continue until death.
    (c) If there is a child entitled to compensation, the compensation 
for the surviving spouse will equal 45 percent of the employee's 
monthly pay plus 15 percent for each child, but the total percentage 
may not exceed 75 percent.
    (d) If there is a child entitled to compensation and no surviving 
spouse, compensation for one child will equal 40 percent of the 
employee's monthly pay. Fifteen percent will be awarded for each 
additional child, not to exceed 75 percent, the total amount to be 
shared equally among all children.
    (e) If there is no child or surviving spouse entitled to 
compensation, the parents will receive compensation equal to 25 percent 
of the employee's monthly pay if one parent was wholly dependent on the 
employee at the time of death and the other was not dependent to any 
extent, or 20 percent each if both were wholly dependent on the 
employee, or a proportionate amount in the discretion of the Director 
if one or both were partially dependent on the employee. If there is a 
child or surviving spouse entitled to compensation, the parents will 
receive so much of the compensation described in the preceding sentence 
as, when added to the total percentages payable to the surviving spouse 
and children, will not exceed a total of 75 percent of the employee's 
monthly pay.
    (f) If there is no child, surviving spouse or dependent parent 
entitled to compensation, the brothers, sisters, grandparents and 
grandchildren will receive compensation equal to 20 percent of the 
employee's monthly pay to such dependent if one was wholly dependent on 
the employee at the time of death; or 30 percent if more than one was 
wholly dependent, divided among such dependents equally; or 10 percent 
if no one was wholly dependent but one or more was partly dependent, 
divided among such dependents equally. If there is a child, surviving 
spouse or dependent parent entitled to compensation, the brothers, 
sisters, grandparents and grandchildren will receive so much of the 
compensation described in the preceding sentence as, when added to the 
total percentages payable to the children, surviving spouse and 
dependent parents, will not exceed a total of 75 percent of the 
employee's monthly pay.
    (g) A child, brother, sister or grandchild may be entitled to 
receive death benefits until death, marriage, or reaching age 18. 
Regarding entitlement after reaching age 18, refer to Sec.  10.417.


Sec.  10.411  What are the maximum and minimum rates of compensation in 
death cases?

    (a) Compensation for death may not exceed the employee's pay or 75 
percent of the basic monthly pay of the highest step of grade 15 of the 
General Schedule, except that compensation may exceed the employee's 
basic monthly pay if such excess is created by authorized cost-of-
living increases. (Basic monthly pay does not include locality 
adjustments.) However, the maximum limit does not apply when the death 
occurred during an assassination of a Federal official described under 
18 U.S.C. 351(a) or 18 U.S.C. 1751(a).
    (b) Compensation for death is computed on a minimum pay rate equal

[[Page 49623]]

to the basic monthly pay of an employee at the first step of grade 2 of 
the General Schedule. (Basic monthly pay does not include locality 
adjustments.)


Sec.  10.412  Will OWCP pay the costs of burial and transportation of 
the remains?

    In a case accepted for death benefits, OWCP will pay up to $800 for 
funeral and burial expenses. When an employee's home is within the 
United States and the employee dies outside the United States, or away 
from home or the official duty station, an additional amount may be 
paid for transporting the remains to the employee's home as set forth 
in 5 U.S.C. 8134. An additional amount of $200 is paid to the personal 
representative of the decedent for reimbursement of the costs of 
terminating the decedent's status as an employee of the United States 
in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 8133.


Sec.  10.413  May a schedule award be paid after an employee's death?

    For a schedule award to be paid following the death of an employee, 
the employee must have filed a valid claim specifically for a schedule 
award prior to death; in addition, the employee must have died from a 
cause other than the injury before the end of the period specified in 
the schedule. The balance of the schedule award may be paid to an 
employee's survivors pursuant to the proportions and order of 
precedence described in 5 U.S.C. 8109.


Sec.  10.414  What reports of dependents are needed in death cases?

    If a beneficiary is receiving compensation benefits on account of 
an employee's death, OWCP will ask him or her to complete a report once 
each year on Form CA-12. The report requires the beneficiary to note 
changes in marital status and dependents. If the beneficiary fails to 
submit the form (or an equivalent written statement) within 30 days of 
the date of request, OWCP shall suspend compensation until the 
requested form or equivalent written statement is received. The 
suspension will include compensation payable for or on behalf of 
another person (for example, compensation payable to a widow on behalf 
of a child). When the form or statement is received, compensation will 
be reinstated at the appropriate rate retroactive to the date of 
suspension, provided the beneficiary is entitled to such compensation.


Sec.  10.415  What must a beneficiary do if the number of beneficiaries 
decreases?

    The circumstances under which compensation on account of death 
shall be terminated are described in 5 U.S.C. 8133(b). A beneficiary in 
a claim for death benefits should promptly notify OWCP of any event 
which would affect his or her entitlement to continued compensation. 
The terms ``marriage'' and ``remarriage'' include common-law marriage 
as recognized and defined by State law in the State where the 
beneficiary resides. If a beneficiary, or someone acting on his or her 
behalf, receives a check or electronic payment which includes payment 
of compensation for any period after the date when entitlement ended, 
he or she must promptly return such funds to OWCP.


Sec.  10.416  How does a change in the number of beneficiaries affect 
the amount of compensation paid to the other beneficiaries?

    If compensation to a beneficiary is terminated, the amount of 
compensation payable to one or more of the remaining beneficiaries may 
be reapportioned. Similarly, the birth of a posthumous child may result 
in a reapportionment of the amount of compensation payable to other 
beneficiaries. The parent, or someone acting on the child's behalf, 
shall promptly notify OWCP of the birth and submit a copy of the birth 
certificate.


Sec.  10.417  What reports are needed when compensation payments 
continue for children over age 18?

    (a) Compensation payable on behalf of a child, brother, sister, or 
grandchild, which would otherwise end when the person reaches 18 years 
of age, shall be continued if and for so long as he or she is not 
married and is either a student as defined in 5 U.S.C. 8101(17), or 
physically or mentally incapable of self-support.
    (b) At least once each year, OWCP will ask a beneficiary receiving 
compensation based on the student status of a dependent to provide 
proof of continuing entitlement to such compensation, including 
certification of school enrollment. The beneficiary is required to 
report any changes to student status in the interim.
    (c) Likewise, at least once each year unless otherwise provided in 
paragraph (d) of this section, OWCP will ask a beneficiary or legal 
guardian receiving compensation based on a dependent's physical or 
mental inability to support himself or herself to submit a medical 
report verifying that the dependent's medical condition persists and 
that it continues to preclude self-support. If there is a change in 
that condition, the beneficiary or legal guardian is required to 
immediately report that change to OWCP.
    (d) In the case of a dependent incapable of self support due to 
that dependant's physical or mental disability where the status of that 
dependent is unlikely to change, a beneficiary or legal guardian may 
establish the permanency of that condition by submitting a well 
rationalized medical report which describes that condition and the 
ongoing prognosis of that condition. If the permanency of that 
condition is established by such a report, OWCP will not seek further 
information regarding that condition; however, if there is a change in 
that condition, the beneficiary or legal guardian is required to 
immediately report that change to OWCP.

Adjustments to Compensation


Sec.  10.420  How are cost-of-living adjustments applied?

    (a) In cases of disability, a beneficiary is eligible for cost-of-
living adjustments under 5 U.S.C. 8146a where injury-related disability 
began more than one year prior to the date the cost-of-living 
adjustment took effect. The employee's use of continuation of pay as 
provided by 5 U.S.C. 8118, or of sick or annual leave, during any part 
of the period of disability does not affect the computation of the one-
year period.
    (b) Where an injury does not result in disability but compensation 
is payable for permanent impairment of a covered member, organ or 
function of the body, a beneficiary is eligible for cost-of-living 
adjustments under 5 U.S.C. 8146a where the award for such impairment 
began more than one year prior to the date the cost-of-living 
adjustment took effect.
    (c) In cases of recurrence of disability, where the pay rate for 
compensation purposes is the pay rate at the time disability recurs, a 
beneficiary is eligible for cost-of-living adjustments under 5 U.S.C. 
8146a where the effective date of that pay rate began more than one 
year prior to the date the cost-of living adjustment took effect.
    (d) In cases of death, entitlement to cost-of-living adjustments 
under 5 U.S.C. 8146a begins with the first such adjustment occurring 
more than one year after the date of death. However, if the death was 
preceded by a period of injury-related disability, compensation payable 
to the survivors will be increased by the same percentages as the cost-
of-living adjustments paid or payable to the deceased employee for the 
period of disability, as well as by subsequent cost-of-living 
adjustments to which the survivors would otherwise be entitled.

[[Page 49624]]

Sec.  10.421  May a beneficiary receive other kinds of payments from 
the Federal Government concurrently with compensation?

    (a) 5 U.S.C. 8116(a) provides that a beneficiary may not receive 
wage-loss compensation concurrently with a Federal retirement or 
survivor annuity. The beneficiary must elect the benefit that he or she 
wishes to receive, and the election, once made, is revocable.
    (b) An employee may receive compensation concurrently with military 
retired pay, retirement pay, retainer pay or equivalent pay for service 
in the Armed Forces or other uniformed services.
    (c) An employee may not receive compensation for total disability 
concurrently with severance pay or separation pay. However, an employee 
may concurrently receive compensation for partial disability or 
permanent impairment to a schedule member, organ or function with 
severance pay or separation pay.
    (d) Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 8116(d), a beneficiary may receive 
compensation under the FECA for either the death or disability of an 
employee concurrently with benefits under title II of the Social 
Security Act on account of the age or death of such employee. However, 
this provision of the FECA also requires OWCP to reduce the amount of 
any such compensation by the amount of any Social Security Act benefits 
that are attributable to the Federal service of the employee.
    (e) To determine the employee's entitlement to compensation, OWCP 
may require an employee to submit an affidavit or statement as to the 
receipt of any federally funded or federally assisted benefits. If an 
employee fails to submit such affidavit or statement within 30 days of 
the date of the request, his or her right to compensation shall be 
suspended until such time as the requested affidavit or statement is 
received. At that time, compensation will be reinstated retroactive to 
the date of suspension provided the employee is entitled to such 
compensation.


Sec.  10.422  May compensation payments be issued in a lump sum?

    (a) In exercise of the discretion afforded under 5 U.S.C. 8135(a), 
OWCP has determined that lump-sum payments will not be made to persons 
entitled to wage-loss benefits (that is, those payable under 5 U.S.C. 
8105 and 8106). Therefore, when OWCP receives requests for lump-sum 
payments for wage-loss benefits, OWCP will not exercise further 
discretion in the matter. This determination is based on several 
factors, including:
    (1) The purpose of the FECA, which is to replace lost wages;
    (2) The prudence of providing wage-loss benefits on a regular, 
recurring basis; and
    (3) The high cost of the long-term borrowing that is needed to pay 
out large lump sums.
    (b) However, a lump-sum payment may be made to an employee entitled 
to a schedule award under 5 U.S.C. 8107 where OWCP determines that such 
a payment is in the employee's best interest. Lump-sum payments of 
schedule awards generally will be considered in the employee's best 
interest only where the employee does not rely upon compensation 
payments as a substitute for lost wages (that is, the employee is 
working or is receiving annuity payments). An employee possesses no 
absolute right to a lump-sum payment of benefits payable under 5 U.S.C. 
8107.
    (c) Lump-sum payments to surviving spouses are addressed in 5 
U.S.C. 8135(b); payments to beneficiaries under 5 U.S.C. 8137 payable 
as a lump sum pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 8135 are addressed in part 25 of 
this title.


Sec.  10.423  May compensation payments be assigned to, or attached by, 
creditors?

    (a) As a general rule, compensation and claims for compensation are 
exempt from the claims of private creditors. Further, any attempt by a 
FECA beneficiary to assign his or her claim is null and void. However, 
pursuant to provisions of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. 659, and 
regulations issued by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) at 5 CFR 
part 581, FECA benefits, including survivor's benefits, may be 
garnished to collect overdue alimony and child support payments.
    (b) Garnishment for child support and alimony may be requested by 
providing a copy of the State agency or court order to the district 
office handling the FECA claim.


Sec.  10.424  May someone other than the beneficiary be designated to 
receive compensation payments?

    A beneficiary may be incapable of managing or directing the 
management of his or her benefits because of a mental or physical 
disability, or because of legal incompetence, or because he or she is 
under 18 years of age. In this situation, absent the appointment of a 
guardian or other party to manage the financial affairs of the claimant 
by a court or administrative body authorized to do so, OWCP in its sole 
discretion may approve a person to serve as the representative payee 
for funds due the beneficiary. Where a guardian or other party has been 
appointed by a court or administrative body authorized to do so to 
manage the financial affairs of the claimant, OWCP will recognize that 
individual as the representative payee.


Sec.  10.425  May compensation be claimed for periods of restorable 
leave?

    The employee may claim compensation for periods of annual and sick 
leave which are restorable in accordance with the rules of the 
employing agency. Forms CA-7a and CA-7b are used for this purpose. 
Leave donated to an employee by an employing agency leave bank is not 
restorable leave.

Overpayments


Sec.  10.430  How does OWCP notify an individual of a payment made?

    (a) In addition to providing narrative descriptions to recipients 
of benefits paid or payable, OWCP includes on each periodic check a 
clear indication of the period for which payment is being made. A form 
is sent to the recipient with each supplemental check which states the 
date and amount of the payment and the period for which payment is 
being made. For payments sent by electronic funds transfer (EFT), a 
notification of the date and amount of payment appears on the statement 
from the recipient's financial institution.
    (b) By these means, OWCP puts the recipient on notice that a 
payment was made and the amount of the payment. If the amount received 
differs from the amount indicated on the written notice or bank 
statement, the recipient is responsible for notifying OWCP of the 
difference. Absent affirmative evidence to the contrary, the 
beneficiary will be presumed to have received the notice of payment, 
whether mailed or transmitted electronically. For EFT payments, OWCP is 
entitled to presume receipt and acceptance of that payment once a 
recipient has had an opportunity to receive a statement from their 
financial institution.


Sec.  10.431  What does OWCP do when an overpayment is identified?

    Before seeking to recover an overpayment or adjust benefits, OWCP 
will advise the beneficiary in writing that:
    (a) The overpayment exists, and the amount of overpayment;
    (b) A preliminary finding shows either that the individual was or 
was not at fault in the creation of the overpayment;
    (c) He or she has the right to inspect and copy Government records 
relating to the overpayment; and

[[Page 49625]]

    (d) He or she has the right to present evidence which challenges 
the fact or amount of the overpayment, and/or challenges the 
preliminary finding that he or she was at fault in the creation of the 
overpayment. He or she may also request that recovery of the 
overpayment be waived.


Sec.  10.432  How can an individual present evidence to OWCP in 
response to a preliminary notice of an overpayment?

    The individual may present this evidence to OWCP in writing or at a 
pre-recoupment hearing. The evidence must be presented or the hearing 
requested within 30 days of the date of the written notice of 
overpayment. Failure to request the hearing within this 30-day time 
period shall constitute a waiver of that right.


Sec.  10.433  Under what circumstances can OWCP waive recovery of an 
overpayment?

    (a) OWCP may consider waiving an overpayment only if the individual 
to whom it was made was not at fault in accepting or creating the 
overpayment. Each recipient of compensation benefits is responsible for 
taking all reasonable measures to ensure that payments he or she 
receives from OWCP are proper. The recipient must show good faith and 
exercise a high degree of care in regard to receipt of their benefits. 
Such care includes reporting events which may affect entitlement to or 
the amount of benefits, including reviewing their accounts and related 
statements (including electronic statements and records from their 
financial institutions involving EFT payments). A recipient who has 
done any of the following will be found to be at fault with respect to 
creating an overpayment:
    (1) Made an incorrect statement as to a material fact which he or 
she knew or should have known to be incorrect; or
    (2) Failed to provide information which he or she knew or should 
have known to be material; or
    (3) Accepted a payment which the recipient knew or should have 
known to be incorrect. (This provision applies only to the overpaid 
individual.)
    (b) Whether or not OWCP determines that an individual was at fault 
with respect to the creation of an overpayment depends on the 
circumstances surrounding the overpayment. The degree of care expected 
may vary with the complexity of those circumstances and the 
individual's capacity to realize that he or she is being overpaid.


Sec.  10.434  If OWCP finds that the recipient of an overpayment was 
not at fault, what criteria are used to decide whether to waive 
recovery of it?

    If OWCP finds that the recipient of an overpayment was not at 
fault, repayment will still be required unless:
    (a) Adjustment or recovery of the overpayment would defeat the 
purpose of the FECA (see Sec.  10.436), or
    (b) Adjustment or recovery of the overpayment would be against 
equity and good conscience (see Sec.  10.437).


Sec.  10.435  Is an individual responsible for an overpayment that 
resulted from an error made by OWCP or another Government agency?

    (a) The fact that OWCP may have erred in making the overpayment, or 
that the overpayment may have resulted from an error by another 
Government agency, does not by itself relieve the individual who 
received the overpayment from liability for repayment if the individual 
also was at fault in accepting the overpayment.
    (b) However, OWCP may find that the individual was not at fault if 
failure to report an event affecting compensation benefits, or 
acceptance of an incorrect payment, occurred because:
    (1) The individual relied on misinformation given in writing by 
OWCP (or by another Government agency which he or she had reason to 
believe was connected with the administration of benefits) as to the 
interpretation of a pertinent provision of the FECA or its regulations; 
or
    (2) OWCP erred in calculating cost-of-living increases, schedule 
award length and/or percentage of impairment, or loss of wage-earning 
capacity.


Sec.  10.436  Under what circumstances would recovery of an overpayment 
defeat the purpose of the FECA?

    Recovery of an overpayment will defeat the purpose of the FECA if 
such recovery would cause hardship to a currently or formerly entitled 
beneficiary because:
    (a) The beneficiary from whom OWCP seeks recovery needs 
substantially all of his or her current income (including compensation 
benefits) to meet current ordinary and necessary living expenses; and
    (b) The beneficiary's assets do not exceed a specified amount as 
determined by OWCP from data furnished by the Bureau of Labor 
Statistics. A higher amount is specified for a beneficiary with one or 
more dependents.


Sec.  10.437  Under what circumstances would recovery of an overpayment 
be against equity and good conscience?

    (a) Recovery of an overpayment is considered to be against equity 
and good conscience when any individual who received an overpayment 
would experience severe financial hardship in attempting to repay the 
debt.
    (b) Recovery of an overpayment is also considered to be against 
equity and good conscience when any individual, in reliance on such 
payments or on notice that such payments would be made, gives up a 
valuable right or changes his or her position for the worse. In making 
such a decision, OWCP does not consider the individual's current 
ability to repay the overpayment.
    (1) To establish that a valuable right has been relinquished, it 
must be shown that the right was in fact valuable, that it cannot be 
regained, and that the action was based chiefly or solely in reliance 
on the payments or on the notice of payment. Donations to charitable 
causes or gratuitous transfers of funds to other individuals are not 
considered relinquishments of valuable rights.
    (2) To establish that an individual's position has changed for the 
worse, it must be shown that the decision made would not otherwise have 
been made but for the receipt of benefits, and that this decision 
resulted in a loss.


Sec.  10.438  Can OWCP require the individual who received the 
overpayment to submit additional financial information?

    (a) The individual who received the overpayment is responsible for 
providing information about income, expenses and assets as specified by 
OWCP. This information is needed to determine whether or not recovery 
of an overpayment would defeat the purpose of the FECA, or be against 
equity and good conscience. This information will also be used to 
determine the repayment schedule, if necessary.
    (b) Failure to submit the requested information within 30 days of 
the request shall result in denial of waiver, and no further request 
for waiver shall be considered until the requested information is 
furnished.


Sec.  10.439  What is addressed at a pre-recoupment hearing?

    At a pre-recoupment hearing, the OWCP representative will consider 
all issues in the claim on which a formal decision has been issued. 
Such a hearing will thus fulfill OWCP's obligation to provide pre-
recoupment rights and a hearing under 5 U.S.C. 8124(b). Pre-recoupment 
hearings shall

[[Page 49626]]

be conducted in exactly the same manner as provided in Sec.  10.615 
through Sec.  10.622.


Sec.  10.440  How does OWCP communicate its final decision concerning 
recovery of an overpayment, and what appeal right accompanies it?

    (a) OWCP will send a copy of the final decision to the individual 
from whom recovery is sought; his or her representative, if any; and 
the employing agency.
    (b) The only review of a final decision concerning an overpayment 
is to the Employees' Compensation Appeals Board. The provisions of 5 
U.S.C. 8124(b) (concerning hearings) and 5 U.S.C. 8128(a) (concerning 
reconsiderations) do not apply to such a decision. The pendency of an 
appeal with ECAB has no effect on the finality of the order being 
appealed; in the event ECAB reverses the final overpayment decision, 
any monies collected will be restored to the beneficiary.


Sec.  10.441  How are overpayments collected?

    (a) When an overpayment has been made to an individual who is 
entitled to further payments, the individual shall refund to OWCP the 
amount of the overpayment as soon as the error is discovered or his or 
her attention is called to same. If no refund is made, OWCP shall 
decrease later payments of compensation, taking into account the 
probable extent of future payments, the rate of compensation, the 
financial circumstances of the individual, and any other relevant 
factors, so as to minimize any hardship. Should the individual die 
before collection has been completed, collection shall be made by 
decreasing later payments, if any, payable under the FECA with respect 
to the individual's death. If no further benefits are payable with 
respect to the individual's death, OWCP may also file a claim with the 
estate of the individual or seek repayment of the overpayment through 
other means including referral of the debt to the Treasury Department.
    (b) When an overpayment has been made to an individual who is not 
entitled to further payments, the individual shall refund to OWCP the 
amount of the overpayment as soon as the error is discovered or his or 
her attention is called to same. The overpayment is subject to the 
provisions of the Federal Claims Collection Act of 1966 (as amended) 
and may be reported to the Internal Revenue Service as income. If the 
individual fails to make such refund, OWCP may recover the same through 
any available means, including offset of salary, annuity benefits, or 
other Federal payments, including tax refunds as authorized by the Tax 
Refund Offset Program, or referral of the debt to a collection agency 
or to the Department of Justice.

Subpart F--Continuing Benefits

Rules and Evidence


Sec.  10.500  What are the basic rules governing continuing receipt of 
compensation benefits and return to work?

    (a) Benefits are available only while the effects of a work-related 
condition continue. Compensation for wage loss due to disability is 
available only for any periods during which an employee's work-related 
medical condition prevents him or her from earning the wages earned 
before the work-related injury. If the evidence establishes that light 
duty within an employee's work restrictions is available and that the 
employee was made aware that such duty was available, the employee was 
not prevented from earning the wages earned before the work-related 
injury for the hours such work was available. Payment of medical 
benefits is available for all treatment necessary due to a work-related 
medical condition.
    (b) Each disabled employee is obligated to perform such work as he 
or she can, and OWCP's goal is to return each disabled employee to work 
as soon as he or she is medically able. In determining what constitutes 
appropriate work under 5 U.S.C. 8115 for determining the wage-earning 
capacity for a particular disabled employee, OWCP considers the 
employee's current physical limitations, whether the work is available 
within the employee's demonstrated commuting area, the employee's 
qualifications to perform such work, and other relevant factors. (See 
Sec.  10.508 with respect to the payment of relocation expenses and 
Sec.  10.509.)


Sec.  10.501  What medical evidence is necessary to support continuing 
receipt of compensation benefits?

    (a) The employee is responsible for providing sufficient medical 
evidence to justify payment of any compensation sought.
    (1) To support payment of continuing compensation where an employee 
has been found entitled to periodic benefits, narrative medical 
evidence must be submitted whenever OWCP requests it but ordinarily not 
less than once a year and with any filing of a form CA-1032. It must 
contain a physician's rationalized opinion as to whether the specific 
period of alleged disability is causally related to the employee's 
accepted injury or illness.
    (2) For those employees with more serious conditions not likely to 
improve and for employees over the age of 65, OWCP may require less 
frequent documentation, but ordinarily not less than once every three 
years.
    (3) The physician's opinion must be based on the facts of the case 
and the complete medical background of the employee, must be one of 
reasonable medical certainty and must include objective findings in 
support of its conclusions. Subjective complaints of pain are not 
sufficient, in and of themselves, to support payment of continuing 
compensation. Likewise, medical limitations based solely on the fear of 
a possible future injury are also not sufficient to support payment of 
continuing compensation. See Sec.  10.330 for a fuller discussion of 
medical evidence.
    (b) OWCP may require any kind of non-invasive testing to determine 
the employee's functional capacity. Failure to undergo such testing 
will result in a suspension of benefits. In addition, OWCP may direct 
the employee to undergo a second opinion or referee examination in any 
case it deems appropriate (see Sec. Sec.  10.320 and 10.321).


Sec.  10.502  How does OWCP evaluate evidence in support of continuing 
receipt of compensation benefits?

    In considering the medical and factual evidence, OWCP will weigh 
the probative value of the attending physician's report, any second 
opinion physician's report, any other medical reports, or any other 
evidence in the file. If OWCP determines that the medical evidence 
supporting one conclusion is more consistent, logical, and well-
reasoned than evidence supporting a contrary conclusion, OWCP will use 
the conclusion that is supported by the weight of the medical evidence 
as the basis for awarding or denying further benefits. If medical 
reports that are equally well-reasoned support inconsistent 
determinations of an issue under consideration, OWCP will direct the 
employee to undergo a third, impartial referee examination to resolve 
the issue, which will be given special weight in determining the issue.


Sec.  10.503  Under what circumstances may OWCP reduce or terminate 
compensation benefits?

    Once OWCP has advised the employee that it has accepted a claim and 
has either approved continuation of pay or paid medical benefits or 
compensation, benefits will not be terminated or reduced unless the 
weight of the evidence establishes that:

[[Page 49627]]

    (a) The disability for which compensation was paid has ceased;
    (b) The disabling condition is no longer causally related to the 
employment;
    (c) The employee is only partially disabled;
    (d) The employee has returned to work;
    (e) The beneficiary was convicted of fraud in connection with a 
claim under the FECA, or the beneficiary was incarcerated based on any 
felony conviction; or
    (f) OWCP's initial decision was in error.

Return to Work--Employer's Responsibilities


Sec.  10.505  What actions must the employer take?

    Upon authorizing medical care, the employer should advise the 
employee in writing as soon as possible of his or her obligation to 
return to work under Sec.  10.210 and as defined in this subpart. The 
term ``return to work'' as used in this subpart is not limited to 
returning to work at the employee's normal worksite or usual position, 
but may include returning to work at other locations and in other 
positions. In general, the employer should make all reasonable efforts 
to place the employee in his or her former or an equivalent position, 
in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 8151(b)(2), if the employee has fully 
recovered after one year. The Office of Personnel Management (not OWCP) 
administers this provision.
    (a) Where the employer has specific alternative positions available 
for partially disabled employees, the employer should advise the 
employee in writing of the specific duties and physical requirements of 
those positions.
    (b) Where the employer has no specific alternative positions 
available for an employee who can perform restricted or limited duties, 
the employer should advise the employee of any accommodations the 
agency can make to accommodate the employee's limitations due to the 
injury.


Sec.  10.506  May the employer monitor the employee's medical care?

    The employer may monitor the employee's medical progress and duty 
status by obtaining periodic medical reports. Form CA-17 is usually 
adequate for this purpose.
    To aid in returning an injured employee to suitable employment, the 
employer may also contact the employee's physician in writing 
concerning the work limitations imposed by the effects of the injury 
and possible job assignments. (However, the employer shall not contact 
the physician by telephone or through personal visit.) When such 
contact is made, the employer shall send a copy of any such 
correspondence to OWCP and the employee, as well as a copy of the 
physician's response when received. The employer may also contact the 
employee at reasonable intervals to request periodic medical reports 
addressing his or her ability to return to work.


Sec.  10.507  How should the employer make an offer of suitable work?

    Where the attending physician or OWCP notifies the employer in 
writing that the employee is partially disabled (that is, the employee 
can perform some work but not return to the position held at date of 
injury), the employer should act as follows:
    (a) If the employee can perform in a specific alternative position 
available in the agency, and the employer has advised the employee in 
writing of the specific duties and physical requirements, the employer 
shall notify the employee in writing immediately of the date of 
availability.
    (b) If the employee can perform restricted or limited duties, the 
employer should determine whether such duties are available or whether 
an existing job can be modified. If so, the employer shall advise the 
employee in writing of the duties, their physical requirements and 
availability.
    (c) The employer must make any job offer in writing. However, the 
employer may make a job offer verbally as long as it provides the job 
offer to the employee in writing within two business days of the verbal 
job offer.
    (d) The offer must include a description of the duties of the 
position, the physical requirements of those duties, and the date by 
which the employee is either to return to work or notify the employer 
of his or her decision to accept or refuse the job offer. The employer 
must send a complete copy of any job offer to OWCP when it is sent to 
the employee.


Sec.  10.508  May relocation expenses be paid for an employee who would 
need to move to accept an offer of reemployment?

    If possible, the employer should offer suitable reemployment in the 
location where the employee currently resides. If this is not 
practical, the employer may offer suitable reemployment at the 
employee's former duty station or other location. Where the distance 
between the location of the offered job and the location where the 
employee currently resides is at least 50 miles, OWCP may pay such 
relocation expenses as are considered reasonable and necessary if the 
employee has been terminated from the agency's employment rolls and 
would incur relocation expenses by accepting the offered reemployment. 
OWCP may also pay such relocation expenses when the new employer is 
other than a Federal employer. OWCP will notify the employee that 
relocation expenses are payable if it makes a finding that the job is 
suitable. To determine whether a relocation expense is reasonable and 
necessary, OWCP shall use as a guide the Federal travel regulations for 
permanent changes of duty station.


Sec.  10.509  If an employee's light duty job is eliminated due to 
downsizing, what is the effect on compensation?

    In general, an employee will not be considered to have experienced 
a compensable recurrence of disability as defined in Sec.  10.5(x) 
merely because his or her employer has eliminated the employee's light-
duty position in a reduction-in-force or some other form of downsizing. 
When this occurs, OWCP will determine the employee's wage-earning 
capacity based on his or her actual earnings in such light-duty 
position if this determination is appropriate on the basis that such 
earnings fairly and reasonably represent the employee's wage-earning 
capacity and such a determination has not already been made and the 
employing agency has stated, in writing, that no other employment is 
available.


Sec.  10.510  When may a light duty job form the basis of a loss of 
wage-earning capacity determination?

    A light-duty position may form the basis of a loss of wage-earning 
capacity determination if that light duty position is a classified 
position to which the injured employee has been formally reassigned. 
The position must conform to the established physical limitations of 
the injured employee; the employer must have a written position 
description outlining the duties and physical requirements; and the 
position must correlate to the type of appointment held by the injured 
employee at the time of injury. If these circumstances are present, a 
determination may be made that the position constitutes ``regular'' 
Federal employment. In the absence of a ``light-duty position'' as 
described in this paragraph, OWCP will assume that the employee was 
instead engaged in non-competitive, makeshift or odd lot employment 
which does not represent the employee's wage-earning capacity, i.e., 
work of the type provided to injured employees who cannot otherwise be

[[Page 49628]]

employed by the Federal Government or in any well-known branch of the 
general labor market.


Sec.  10.511  How may a loss of wage-earning capacity determination be 
modified?

    If OWCP issues a formal loss of wage-earning capacity 
determination, including a finding of no loss of wage-earning capacity, 
that determination and rate of compensation, if applicable, remains in 
place until that determination is modified by OWCP.
    Modification of such a determination is only warranted where the 
party seeking the modification establishes either that there is a 
material change in the nature and extent of the injury-related 
condition, the employee has been retrained or otherwise vocationally 
rehabilitated, or the original determination was erroneous. However, 
OWCP is not precluded from adjudicating a limited period of disability 
following the issuance of a loss of wage-earning capacity decision, 
i.e., where an employee has a demonstrated need for surgery.

Return to Work--Employee's Responsibilities


Sec.  10.515  What actions must the employee take with respect to 
returning to work?

    (a) If an employee can resume regular Federal employment, he or she 
must do so. No further compensation for wage loss is payable once the 
employee has recovered from the work-related injury to the extent that 
he or she can perform the duties of the position held at the time of 
injury, or earn equivalent wages.
    (b) If an employee cannot return to the job held at the time of 
injury due to partial disability from the effects of the work-related 
injury, but has recovered enough to perform some type of work, he or 
she must seek work. In the alternative, the employee must accept 
suitable work offered to him or her. (See Sec.  10.500 for a definition 
of ``suitable work''.) This work may be with the original employer or 
through job placement efforts made by or on behalf of OWCP.
    (c) If the employer has advised an employee in writing that 
specific alternative positions exist within the agency, the employee 
shall provide the description and physical requirements of such 
alternate positions to the attending physician and ask whether and when 
he or she will be able to perform such duties.
    (d) If the employer has advised an employee that it is willing to 
accommodate his or her work limitations, the employee shall so advise 
the attending physician and ask him or her to specify the limitations 
imposed by the injury. The employee is responsible for advising the 
employer immediately of these limitations.
    (e) From time to time, OWCP may require the employee to report his 
or her efforts to obtain suitable employment, whether with the Federal 
Government, State and local Governments, or in the private sector.


Sec.  10.516  How will an employee know if OWCP considers a job to be 
suitable?

    OWCP shall advise the employee that it has found the offered work 
to be suitable and afford the employee 30 days to accept the job or 
present any reasons to counter OWCP's finding of suitability. If the 
employee presents such reasons, and OWCP determines that the reasons 
are unacceptable, it will notify the employee of that determination and 
that he or she has 15 days in which to accept the offered work without 
penalty. At that point in time, OWCP's notification need not state the 
reasons for finding that the employee's reasons are not acceptable.


Sec.  10.517  What are the penalties for refusing to accept a suitable 
job offer?

    (a) 5 U.S.C. 8106(c) provides that a partially disabled employee 
who refuses to seek suitable work, or refuses to or neglects to work 
after suitable work is offered to or arranged for him or her, is not 
entitled to compensation. An employee who refuses or neglects to work 
after suitable work has been offered or secured for him or her has the 
burden to show that this refusal or failure to work was reasonable or 
justified.
    (b) After providing the two notices described in Sec.  10.516, OWCP 
will terminate the employee's entitlement to further compensation under 
5 U.S.C. 8105, 8106, and 8107 on all claims where the injury occurred 
prior to the termination decision, as provided by 5 U.S.C. 8106(c)(2). 
However, the employee remains entitled to medical benefits as provided 
by 5 U.S.C. 8103.


Sec.  10.518  Does OWCP provide services to help employees return to 
work?

    OWCP may, in its discretion, provide vocational rehabilitation 
services as authorized by 5 U.S.C. 8104. Vocational rehabilitation 
services may include vocational evaluation, testing, training, and 
placement services with either the original employer or a new employer, 
when the injured employee cannot return to the job held at the time of 
injury. These services also include functional capacity evaluations, 
which help to tailor individual rehabilitation programs to employees' 
physical reconditioning and behavioral modification needs, and help 
employees to meet the demands of current or potential jobs.


Sec.  10.519  What action will OWCP take if an employee refuses to 
undergo vocational rehabilitation?

    Under 5 U.S.C. 8104(a), OWCP may direct a permanently disabled 
employee to undergo vocational rehabilitation. To ensure that 
vocational rehabilitation services are available to all who might be 
entitled to benefit from them, an injured employee who has a loss of 
wage-earning capacity shall be presumed to be ``permanently disabled,'' 
for purposes of this section only, unless and until the employee proves 
that the disability is not permanent. If an employee without good cause 
fails or refuses to apply for, undergo, participate in, or continue to 
participate in a vocational rehabilitation effort when so directed, 
OWCP will act as follows:
    (a) Where a suitable job has been identified, OWCP will reduce the 
employee's future monetary compensation based on the amount which would 
likely have been his or her wage-earning capacity had he or she 
undergone vocational rehabilitation. OWCP will determine this amount in 
accordance with the job identified through the vocational 
rehabilitation planning process, which includes meetings with the OWCP 
nurse and the employer. The reduction will remain in effect until such 
time as the employee acts in good faith to comply with the direction of 
OWCP.
    (b) Where a suitable job has not been identified, because the 
failure or refusal occurred in the early but necessary stages of a 
vocational rehabilitation effort (that is, interviews, testing, 
counseling, functional capacity evaluations, and work evaluations), 
OWCP cannot determine what would have been the employee's wage-earning 
capacity.
    (c) Under the circumstances identified in paragraph (b) of this 
section, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, OWCP will assume 
that the vocational rehabilitation effort would have resulted in a 
return to work with no loss of wage-earning capacity, and OWCP will 
reduce the employee's monetary compensation accordingly (that is, to 
zero). This reduction will remain in effect until such time as the 
employee acts in good faith to comply with the direction of OWCP.


Sec.  10.520  How does OWCP determine compensation after an employee 
completes a vocational rehabilitation program?

    After completion of a vocational rehabilitation program, OWCP may 
adjust compensation to reflect the

[[Page 49629]]

injured worker's wage-earning capacity. Actual earnings will be used if 
they fairly and reasonably reflect the earning capacity. The position 
determined to be the goal of a training plan is assumed to represent 
the employee's earning capacity if it is suitable and performed in 
sufficient numbers so as to be reasonably available, whether or not the 
employee is placed in such a position.


Sec.  10.521  If an employee elects to receive retirement benefits 
instead of FECA benefits, what effect may such an election have on that 
employee's entitlement to FECA compensation?

    Where an employee is undergoing vocational rehabilitation, or where 
OWCP is attempting to otherwise place that employee in a suitable job, 
and that employee elects to receive retirement benefits from the Office 
of Personnel Management instead of benefits under the FECA, the OWCP 
may proceed with a loss of wage-earning capacity determination which 
may reduce FECA entitlement as long as the determination is based on 
the evidence of record at the time of such election.

Reports of Earnings From Employment and Self-Employment


Sec.  10.525  What information must the employee report?

    (a) An employee who is receiving compensation for partial or total 
disability must advise OWCP immediately of any return to work, either 
part-time or full-time. An employee must report all outside employment, 
including any concurrent dissimilar employment held at the time of 
injury, even if the injury did not result in any lost time in that 
position. In addition, an employee who is receiving compensation for 
partial or total disability will periodically be required to submit a 
report of earnings from employment or self-employment, either part-time 
or full-time. (See Sec.  10.5(g) for a definition of ``earnings.'')
    (b) The employee must report even those earnings which do not seem 
likely to affect his or her level of benefits. Many kinds of income, 
though not all, will result in reduction of compensation benefits. 
While earning income will not necessarily result in a reduction of 
compensation, failure to report income may result in forfeiture of all 
benefits paid during the reporting period.


Sec.  10.526  Must the employee report volunteer activities?

    An employee who is receiving compensation for partial or total 
disability is periodically required to report volunteer activity or any 
other kind of activity which shows that the employee is no longer 
totally disabled for work. The fact that the employee did not receive 
any salary for this work is not a basis for failing to report this 
activity; instead the employee must report the cost if any to have 
someone else do the work or activity.


Sec.  10.527  Does OWCP verify reports of earnings?

    To make proper determinations of an employee's entitlement to 
benefits, OWCP may verify the earnings reported by the employee through 
a variety of means, including but not limited to computer matches with 
the Office of Personnel Management and inquiries to the Social Security 
Administration. Also, OWCP may perform computer matches with records of 
State agencies, including but not limited to workers' compensation 
administrations, to determine whether private employers are paying 
workers' compensation insurance premiums for recipients of benefits 
under the FECA.


Sec.  10.528  What action will OWCP take if the employee fails to file 
a report of activity indicating an ability to work?

    OWCP periodically requires each employee who is receiving 
compensation benefits to complete an affidavit as to any work, or 
activity indicating an ability to work, which the employee has 
performed for the prior 15 months. If an employee who is required to 
file such a report fails to do so within 30 days of the date of the 
request, his or her right to compensation for wage loss under 5 U.S.C. 
8105 or 8106 is suspended until OWCP receives the requested report. At 
that time, OWCP will reinstate compensation retroactive to the date of 
suspension if the employee remains entitled to compensation.


Sec.  10.529  What action will OWCP take if the employee files an 
incomplete report?

    (a) If an employee knowingly omits or understates any earnings or 
work activity in making a report, he or she shall forfeit the right to 
compensation with respect to any period for which the report was 
required. A false or evasive statement, omission, concealment, or 
misrepresentation with respect to employment activity or earnings in a 
report may also subject an employee to criminal prosecution.
    (b) Where the right to compensation is forfeited, OWCP shall 
recover any compensation already paid for the period of forfeiture 
pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 8129 and other relevant statutes.

Reports of Dependents


Sec.  10.535  How are dependents defined, and what information must the 
employee report?

    (a) Dependents in disability cases are defined in Sec.  10.405. 
While the employee has one or more dependents, the employee's basic 
compensation for wage loss or for permanent impairment shall be 
augmented as provided in 5 U.S.C. 8110. (The rules for death claims are 
found in Sec.  10.414.)
    (b) An employee who is receiving augmented compensation on account 
of dependents must advise OWCP immediately of any change in the number 
or status of dependents. The employee should also promptly refund to 
OWCP any amounts received on account of augmented compensation after 
the right to receive augmented compensation has ceased. Any difference 
between actual entitlement and the amount already paid beyond the date 
entitlement ended is an overpayment of compensation and may be 
recovered pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 8129 and other relevant statutes.
    (c) An employee who is receiving augmented compensation shall be 
periodically required to submit a statement as to any dependents, or to 
submit supporting documents such as birth or marriage certificates or 
court orders, to determine if he or she is still entitled to augmented 
compensation.


Sec.  10.536  What is the penalty for failing to submit a report of 
dependents?

    If an employee fails to submit a requested statement or supporting 
document within 30 days of the date of the request, OWCP will suspend 
his or her right to augmented compensation until OWCP receives the 
requested statement or supporting document. At that time, OWCP will 
reinstate augmented compensation retroactive to the date of suspension, 
provided that the employee is entitled to receive augmented 
compensation.


Sec.  10.537  What reports are needed when compensation payments 
continue for children over age 18?

    (a) Compensation payable on behalf of a child that would otherwise 
end when the child reaches 18 years of age will continue if and for so 
long as he or she is not married and is either a student as defined in 
5 U.S.C. 8101(17), or physically or mentally incapable of self-support.
    (b) At least once each year, OWCP will ask an employee who receives 
compensation based on the student status of a child to provide proof of 
continuing entitlement to such compensation, including certification of

[[Page 49630]]

school enrollment. The employee is required to report any changes to 
student status in the interim as soon as they occur.
    (c) Likewise, at least once each year, OWCP will ask an employee 
who receives compensation based on a child's physical or mental 
inability to support himself or herself, and who is not covered by 
Sec.  10.417(d) of this part, to submit a medical report verifying that 
the child's medical condition persists and that it continues to 
preclude self-support. The employee is required to report any changes 
to that status in the interim.
    (d) If an employee fails to submit proof within 30 days of the date 
of the request, OWCP will suspend the employee's right to compensation 
until the requested information is received. At that time OWCP will 
reinstate compensation retroactive to the date of suspension, provided 
the employee is entitled to such compensation.

Reduction and Termination of Compensation


Sec.  10.540  When and how is compensation reduced or terminated?

    (a) Except as provided in paragraphs (c), (d), and (e) of this 
section, where the evidence establishes that compensation should be 
either reduced or terminated, OWCP will provide the beneficiary with 
written notice of the proposed action and give him or her 30 days to 
submit relevant evidence or argument to support entitlement to 
continued payment of compensation.
    (b) Notice provided under this section will include a description 
of the reasons for the proposed action and a copy of the specific 
evidence upon which OWCP is basing its determination. Payment of 
compensation will continue until any evidence or argument submitted has 
been reviewed and an appropriate decision has been issued, or until 30 
days have elapsed if no additional evidence or argument is submitted.
    (c) OWCP will not provide such written notice when the beneficiary 
has no reasonable basis to expect that payment of compensation will 
continue. For example, when a claim has been made for a specific period 
of time and that specific period expires, no written notice will be 
given.
    (d) Written notice will also not be given when a beneficiary dies, 
when OWCP either reduces or terminates compensation upon an employee's 
return to work, when OWCP terminates only medical benefits after a 
physician indicates that further medical treatment is not necessary or 
has ended, or when OWCP denies payment for a particular medical 
expense.
    (e) OWCP will also not provide such written notice when 
compensation is terminated, suspended or forfeited due to one of the 
following: A beneficiary's conviction for fraud in connection with a 
claim under the FECA; a beneficiary's incarceration based on any felony 
conviction; an employee's failure to report earnings from employment or 
self-employment; an employee's failure or refusal to either continue 
performing suitable work or to accept an offer of suitable work; or an 
employee's refusal to undergo or obstruction of a directed medical 
examination or treatment for substance abuse.


Sec.  10.541  What action will OWCP take after issuing written notice 
of its intention to reduce or terminate compensation?

    (a) If the beneficiary submits evidence or argument prior to the 
issuance of the decision, OWCP will evaluate it in light of the 
proposed action and undertake such further development as it may deem 
appropriate, if any. Evidence or argument which is repetitious, 
cumulative, or irrelevant will not require any further development. If 
the beneficiary does not respond within 30 days of the written notice, 
OWCP will issue a decision consistent with its prior notice. OWCP will 
not grant any request for an extension of this 30-day period.
    (b) Evidence or argument which refutes the evidence upon which the 
proposed action was based will result in the continued payment of 
compensation. If the beneficiary submits evidence or argument which 
fails to refute the evidence upon which the proposed action was based 
but which requires further development, OWCP will not provide the 
beneficiary with another notice of its proposed action upon completion 
of such development. Once any further development of the evidence is 
completed, OWCP will either continue payment or issue a decision 
consistent with its prior notice.

Subpart G--Appeals Process


Sec.  10.600  How can final decisions of OWCP be reviewed?

    There are three methods for reviewing a formal decision of the OWCP 
(Sec. Sec.  10.125 through 10.127 discuss how decisions are made). 
These methods are: reconsideration by the district office; a hearing 
before an OWCP hearing representative; and appeal to the Employees' 
Compensation Appeals Board (ECAB). For each method there are time 
limitations and other restrictions which may apply, and not all options 
are available for all decisions, so the employee should consult the 
requirements set forth below. Further rules governing appeals to the 
ECAB are found at part 501 of this title.

Reconsiderations and Reviews by the Director


Sec.  10.605  What is reconsideration?

    The FECA provides that the Director may review an award for or 
against compensation upon application by an employee (or his or her 
representative) who receives an adverse decision. The employee shall 
exercise this right through a request to the district office. The 
request, along with the supporting statements and evidence, is called 
the ``application for reconsideration.''


Sec.  10.606  How does a claimant request reconsideration?

    (a) An employee (or representative) seeking reconsideration should 
send the application for reconsideration to the address as instructed 
by OWCP in the final decision.
    (b) The application for reconsideration, including all supporting 
documents, must:
    (1) Be submitted in writing;
    (2) Be signed and dated by the claimant or the authorized 
representative; and
    (3) Set forth arguments and contain evidence that either:
    (i) Shows that OWCP erroneously applied or interpreted a specific 
point of law;
    (ii) Advances a relevant legal argument not previously considered 
by OWCP; or
    (iii) Constitutes relevant and pertinent new evidence not 
previously considered by OWCP.


Sec.  10.607  What is the time limit for requesting reconsideration?

    (a) An application for reconsideration must be received by OWCP 
within one year of the date of the OWCP decision for which review is 
sought.
    (b) OWCP will consider an untimely application for reconsideration 
only if the application demonstrates clear evidence of error on the 
part of OWCP in its most recent merit decision. The application must 
establish, on its face, that such decision was erroneous.
    (c) The year in which a claimant has to timely request 
reconsideration shall not include any period subsequent to an OWCP 
decision for which the claimant can establish through probative medical 
evidence that he or she is unable to communicate in any way and that 
his or her testimony is necessary in order to obtain modification of 
the decision.

[[Page 49631]]

Sec.  10.608  How does OWCP decide whether to grant or deny the request 
for reconsideration?

    (a) A timely request for reconsideration may be granted if OWCP 
determines that the employee has presented evidence and/or argument 
that meets at least one of the standards described in Sec.  
10.606(b)(3). If reconsideration is granted, the case is reopened and 
the case is reviewed on its merits (see Sec.  10.609).
    (b) Where the request is timely but fails to meet at least one of 
the standards described in Sec.  10.606(b)(3), or where the request is 
untimely and fails to present any clear evidence of error, OWCP will 
deny the application for reconsideration without reopening the case for 
a review on the merits. A decision denying an application for 
reconsideration cannot be the subject of another application for 
reconsideration. The only review for this type of non-merit decision is 
an appeal to the ECAB (see Sec.  10.625), and OWCP will not entertain a 
request for reconsideration or a hearing on this decision denying 
reconsideration.


Sec.  10.609  How does OWCP decide whether new evidence requires 
modification of the prior decision?

    When application for reconsideration is granted, OWCP will review 
the decision for which reconsideration is sought on the merits and 
determine whether the new evidence or argument requires modification of 
the prior decision.
    (a) After OWCP decides to grant reconsideration, but before 
undertaking the review, OWCP will send a copy of the reconsideration 
application to the employer, which will have 20 days from the date sent 
to comment or submit relevant documents. OWCP will provide any such 
comments to the employee, who will have 20 days from the date the 
comments are sent to him or her within which to comment. If no comments 
are received from the employer, OWCP will proceed with the merit review 
of the case. Where a reconsideration request pertains only to a medical 
issue (such as disability or a schedule award) not requiring comment 
from the employing agency, the employing agency will be notified that a 
request for reconsideration has been received, but OWCP is not required 
to wait 20 days for comment before reaching a determination, except 
when that claimant is deployed in an area of armed conflict.
    (b) A claims examiner who did not participate in making the 
contested decision will conduct the merit review of the claim. When all 
evidence has been reviewed, OWCP will issue a new merit decision, based 
on all the evidence in the record. A copy of the decision will be 
provided to the agency.
    (c) An employee dissatisfied with this new merit decision may again 
request reconsideration under this subpart or appeal to the ECAB. An 
employee may not request a hearing on this decision.


Sec.  10.610  What is a review by the Director?

    The FECA specifies that an award for or against payment of 
compensation may be reviewed at any time on the Director's own motion. 
Such review may be made without regard to whether there is new evidence 
or information. If the Director determines that a review of the award 
is warranted (including, but not limited to circumstances indicating a 
mistake of fact or law or changed conditions), the Director (at any 
time and on the basis of existing evidence) may modify, rescind, 
decrease or increase compensation previously awarded, or award 
compensation previously denied. A review on the Director's own motion 
is not subject to a request or petition and none shall be entertained.
    (a) The decision whether or not to review an award under this 
section is solely within the discretion of the Director. The Director's 
exercise of this discretion is not subject to review by the ECAB, nor 
can it be the subject of a reconsideration or hearing request.
    (b) Where the Director reviews an award on his or her own motion, 
any resulting decision is subject as appropriate to reconsideration, a 
hearing and/or appeal to the ECAB. Jurisdiction on review or on appeal 
to ECAB is limited to a review of the merits of the resulting decision. 
The Director's determination to review the award is not reviewable.

Hearings


Sec.  10.615  What is a hearing?

    A hearing is a review of an adverse decision by a hearing 
representative. Initially, the claimant can choose between two formats: 
An oral hearing or a review of the written record. At the discretion of 
the hearing representative, an oral hearing may be conducted by 
telephone, teleconference, videoconference or other electronic means. 
In addition to the evidence of record, the employee may submit new 
evidence to the hearing representative.


Sec.  10.616  How does a claimant obtain a hearing?

    (a) A claimant, injured on or after July 4, 1966, who has received 
a final adverse decision by the district office may obtain a hearing by 
writing to the address specified in the decision. The hearing request 
must be sent within 30 days (as determined by postmark or other 
carrier's date marking) of the date of the decision for which a hearing 
is sought. The claimant must not have previously submitted a 
reconsideration request (whether or not it was granted) on the same 
decision.
    (b) OWCP will schedule an oral hearing and determine whether the 
oral hearing will be conducted in person, including whether the in 
person hearing will be by teleconference, videoconference or other 
electronic means. The claimant can request a change in the format from 
a hearing to a review of the written record by making a written request 
to the Branch of Hearings and Review. OWCP will grant a request 
received by the Branch of Hearings and Review within 30 days of: The 
date OWCP acknowledges the initial hearing request, or the date OWCP 
issues a notice setting a date for an oral hearing, in cases where the 
initial request was for, or was treated as a request for, an oral 
hearing. A request received after those dates will be subject to OWCP's 
discretion. The decision to grant or deny a change of format from a 
hearing to a review of the written record is not reviewable.


Sec.  10.617  How is an oral hearing conducted?

    (a) The hearing representative retains complete discretion to set 
the time, place and method of the hearing, including the amount of time 
allotted for the hearing, considering the issues to be resolved. Any 
requests for reasonable accommodation by individuals with disabilities 
should be made through the procedure described in the initial 
acknowledgement letter.
    (b) Unless otherwise directed in writing by the claimant, the 
hearing representative will mail a notice of the time, place and method 
of the oral hearing to the claimant and any representative at least 30 
days before the scheduled date. The employer will also be mailed a 
notice at least 30 days before the scheduled date.
    (c) The hearing is an informal process, and the hearing 
representative is not bound by common law or statutory rules of 
evidence, by technical or formal rules of procedure or by section 5 of 
the Administrative Procedure Act, but the hearing representative may 
conduct the hearing in such manner as to best ascertain the rights of 
the claimant. During the hearing process, the claimant may state his or 
her arguments and present new written evidence in support of the claim. 
Hearings are limited to one hour; this limitation may be extended in

[[Page 49632]]

the discretion of the hearing representative.
    (d) Testimony at oral hearings, including those conducted by 
teleconference, videoconference or other electronic means, is recorded, 
then transcribed and placed in the record. Oral testimony shall be made 
under oath. The transcript of the hearing is the official record of the 
hearing.
    (e) OWCP will furnish a transcript of the oral hearing to the 
claimant and the employer, who have 20 days from the date it is sent to 
comment. The employer shall send any comments to OWCP and the claimant, 
who will have 20 more days from the date of the agency's certificate of 
service to comment.
    (f) The hearing remains open for the submittal of additional 
evidence until 30 days after the hearing is held, unless the hearing 
representative, in his or her sole discretion, grants an extension. 
Only one such extension may be granted. A copy of the decision will be 
mailed to the claimant's last known address, to any representative, and 
to the employer.
    (g) The hearing representative determines the conduct of the oral 
hearing and may terminate the hearing at any time he or she determines 
that all relevant evidence has been obtained, or because of misbehavior 
on the part of the claimant and/or representative.
    (h) Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 8126, if an individual disobeys or resists 
a lawful order or process in proceedings under this part, or misbehaves 
during a hearing or in a manner so as to obstruct the hearing, OWCP may 
certify the facts to the appropriate U.S. District Court, which may, if 
the evidence warrants, punish the individual in the same manner and to 
the same extent as for a contempt committed before the court, or commit 
the individual on the same conditions as if the forbidden act had 
occurred with reference to the process of or in the presence of the 
court.


Sec.  10.618  How is a review of the written record conducted?

    (a) The hearing representative will review the official record and 
any additional evidence submitted by the claimant and by the agency. 
The hearing representative may also conduct whatever investigation is 
deemed necessary. New evidence and arguments are to be submitted at any 
time up to the time specified by OWCP, but they should be submitted as 
soon as possible to avoid delaying the hearing process.
    (b) The claimant should submit, with his or her application for 
review, all evidence or argument that he or she wants to present to the 
hearing representative. If the claimant chooses to change the request 
from an oral hearing to a review of the written record, the claimant 
should submit all evidence or argument at that time. A copy of all 
pertinent material will be sent to the employer, which will have 20 
days from the date it is sent to comment. (Medical evidence is not 
considered ``pertinent'' for review and comment by the agency, and it 
will therefore not be furnished to the agency. OWCP has sole 
responsibility for evaluating medical evidence.) The employer shall 
send any comments to OWCP and the claimant, who will have 20 more days 
from the date of the agency's certificate of service to comment.


Sec.  10.619  May subpoenas be issued for witnesses and documents?

    A claimant may request a subpoena, but the decision to grant or 
deny such a request is within the discretion of the hearing 
representative. The hearing representative may issue subpoenas for the 
attendance and testimony of witnesses, and for the production of books, 
records, correspondence, papers or other relevant documents. Subpoenas 
are issued for documents only if they are relevant and cannot be 
obtained by other means, and for witnesses only where oral testimony is 
the best way to ascertain the facts.
    (a) A claimant may request a subpoena only as part of the hearings 
process, and no subpoena will be issued under any other part of the 
claims process. To request a subpoena, the requestor must:
    (1) Submit the request in writing and send it to the hearing 
representative as early as possible but no later than 60 days (as 
evidenced by postmark, electronic marker or other objective date mark) 
after the date of the original hearing request.
    (2) Explain in the original request for a subpoena why the 
testimony or evidence is directly relevant to the issues at hand, and a 
subpoena is the best method or opportunity to obtain such evidence 
because there are no other means by which the documents or testimony 
could have been obtained.
    (b) No subpoena will be issued for attendance of employees of OWCP 
acting in their official capacities as decision-makers or policy 
administrators. For hearings taking the form of a review of the written 
record, no subpoena for the appearance of witnesses will be considered.
    (c) The hearing representative issues the subpoena under his or her 
own name. It may be served in person or by certified mail, return 
receipt requested, addressed to the person to be served at his or her 
last known principal place of business or residence. A decision to deny 
a subpoena can only be appealed as part of an appeal of any adverse 
decision which results from the hearing.


Sec.  10.620  Who pays the costs associated with subpoenas?

    (a) Witnesses who are not employees or former employees of the 
Federal Government shall be paid the same fees and mileage as paid for 
like services in the District Court of the United States where the 
subpoena is returnable, except that expert witnesses shall be paid a 
fee not to exceed the local customary fee for such services.
    (b) Where OWCP asked that the witness submit evidence into the case 
record or asked that the witness attend, OWCP shall pay the fees and 
mileage. Where the claimant requested the subpoena, and where the 
witness submitted evidence into the record at the request of the 
claimant, the claimant shall pay the fees and mileage.


Sec.  10.621  What is the employer's role when an oral hearing has been 
requested?

    (a) The employer may send one (or more, if deemed appropriate by 
the hearing representative) representative(s) to observe the 
proceeding, but the agency representative cannot give testimony or 
argument or otherwise participate in the hearing, except where the 
claimant or the hearing representative specifically asks the agency 
representative to testify.
    (b) The hearing representative may deny a request by the claimant 
that the agency representative testify where the claimant cannot show 
that the testimony would be relevant or where the agency representative 
does not have the appropriate level of knowledge to provide such 
evidence at the hearing. The employer may also comment on the hearing 
transcript, as described in Sec.  10.617(e).


Sec.  10.622  May a claimant withdraw a request for or postpone a 
hearing?

    (a) The claimant and/or representative may withdraw the hearing 
request at any time up to and including the day the hearing is held, or 
the decision issued. Withdrawing the hearing request means the record 
is returned to the jurisdiction of the district office and no further 
requests for a hearing on the underlying decision will be considered.
    (b) OWCP will entertain any reasonable request for scheduling the 
oral hearing, including whether to participate by teleconference, 
videoconference or other electronic means, but such requests should be 
made at the time of the original

[[Page 49633]]

application for hearing. Scheduling is at the sole discretion of the 
hearing representative, and is not reviewable. Once the oral hearing is 
scheduled and OWCP has mailed appropriate written notice to the 
claimant, the oral hearing cannot be postponed at the claimant's 
request for any reason except those stated in paragraph (c) of this 
section, unless the hearing representative can reschedule the hearing 
on the hearing representative's same monthly docket. When the request 
to postpone a scheduled hearing does not meet the test of paragraph (c) 
of this section and cannot be accommodated on the docket, no further 
opportunity for an oral hearing will be provided. Instead, the hearing 
will take the form of a review of the written record and a decision 
issued accordingly.
    (c) Where the claimant is hospitalized for a reason which is not 
elective, or where the death of the claimant's parent, spouse, or child 
prevents attendance at the hearing, a postponement may be granted upon 
proper documentation.
    (d) A claimant who fails to appear at a scheduled hearing may 
request in writing within 10 days after the date set for the hearing 
that another hearing be scheduled. Where good cause for failure to 
appear is shown, another hearing will be scheduled. The failure of the 
claimant to request another hearing within 10 days, or the failure of 
the claimant to appear at the second scheduled hearing without good 
cause shown, shall constitute abandonment of the request for a hearing. 
Where good cause is shown for failure to appear at the second scheduled 
hearing, review of the matter will proceed as a review of the written 
record.

Review by the Employees' Compensation Appeals Board (ECAB)


Sec.  10.625  What kinds of decisions may be appealed?

    Only final decisions of OWCP may be appealed to the ECAB. However, 
certain types of final decisions, described in this part as not subject 
to further review, cannot be appealed to the ECAB. Decisions that are 
not appealable to the ECAB include: Decisions concerning the amounts 
payable for medical services, decisions concerning exclusion and 
reinstatement of medical providers, decisions by the Director to review 
an award on his or her own motion, and denials of subpoenas independent 
of the appeal of the underlying decision. In appeals before the ECAB, 
attorneys from the Office of the Solicitor of Labor shall represent 
OWCP.


Sec.  10.626  Who has jurisdiction of cases on appeal to the ECAB?

    While a case is on appeal to the ECAB, OWCP has no jurisdiction 
over the claim with respect to issues which directly relate to the 
issue or issues on appeal. The OWCP continues to administer the claim 
and retains jurisdiction over issues unrelated to the issue or issues 
on appeal and issues which arise after the appeal as a result of 
ongoing administration of the case. Such issues would include, for 
example, the ability to terminate benefits where an individual returns 
to work while an appeal is pending at the ECAB. ECAB's rules of 
procedure are found at part 501 of this title.

Subpart H--Special Provisions

Representation


Sec.  10.700  May a claimant designate a representative?

    (a) The claims process under the FECA is informal. Unlike many 
workers' compensation laws, the employer is not a party to the claim, 
and OWCP acts as an impartial evaluator of the evidence. Nevertheless, 
a claimant may appoint one individual to represent his or her 
interests, but the appointment must be in writing.
    (b) There can be only one representative at any one time, so after 
one representative has been properly appointed, OWCP will not recognize 
another individual as representative until the claimant withdraws the 
authorization of the first individual. In addition, OWCP will recognize 
only certain types of individuals (see Sec.  10.701); however if the 
representative is an attorney, OWCP may communicate with any member of 
that attorney's recognized law firm.
    (c) A properly appointed representative who is recognized by OWCP 
may make a request or give direction to OWCP regarding the claims 
process, including a hearing. This authority includes presenting or 
eliciting evidence, making arguments on facts or the law, and obtaining 
information from the case file, to the same extent as the claimant.


Sec.  10.701  Who may serve as a representative?

    A claimant may authorize any individual to represent him or her in 
regard to a claim under the FECA, unless that individual's service as a 
representative would violate any applicable provision of law (such as 
18 U.S.C. 205 and 208). A Federal employee may act as a representative 
only:
    (a) On behalf of immediate family members, defined as a spouse, 
children, parents, and siblings of the representative, provided no fee 
or gratuity is charged; or
    (b) While acting as a union representative, defined as any 
officially sanctioned union official, and no fee or gratuity is 
charged.


Sec.  10.702  How are fees for services paid?

    (a) A representative may charge the claimant a fee and other costs 
associated with the representation before OWCP. The claimant is solely 
responsible for paying the fee and other charges. The claimant will not 
be reimbursed by OWCP, nor is OWCP in any way liable for the amount of 
the fee. Contingency fees are not allowed in any form.
    (b) Administrative costs (mailing, copying, messenger services, 
travel and the like, but not including secretarial services, paralegal 
and other activities) need not be approved before the representative 
collects them. Before any fee for services can be collected, however, 
the fee must be approved by the Secretary.


Sec.  10.703  How are fee applications approved?

    (a) Fee application. The representative must submit the fee 
application to OWCP for services rendered before OWCP. (Representative 
services before ECAB must be approved by ECAB under 20 CFR part 501.) 
The application submitted to OWCP shall contain the following:
    (1) An itemized statement showing the representative's hourly rate, 
the number of hours worked and specifically identifying the work 
performed and a total amount charged for the representation (excluding 
administrative costs).
    (2) A statement of agreement or disagreement with the amount 
charged, signed by the claimant. The statement must also acknowledge 
that the claimant is aware that he or she must pay the fees and that 
OWCP is not responsible for paying the fee or other costs.
    (b) Approval where there is no dispute. Where a fee application 
that describes the services rendered in accordance with paragraph 
(a)(1) of this section is accompanied by a signed statement indicating 
the claimant's agreement with the fee as described in paragraph (a)(2) 
of this section, the application is deemed approved except that no 
contingency fee arrangement may be considered deemed approved through 
this process.
    (c) Disputed requests. (1) Where the claimant disagrees with the 
amount of

[[Page 49634]]

the fee, as indicated in the statement accompanying the submittal, OWCP 
will evaluate the objection and decide whether or not to approve the 
request. OWCP will provide a copy of the request to the claimant and 
ask him or her to submit any further information in support of the 
objection within 15 days from the date the request is forwarded. After 
that period has passed, OWCP will evaluate the information received to 
determine whether the amount of the fee is substantially in excess of 
the value of services received by looking at the following factors:
    (i) Usefulness of the representative's services;
    (ii) The nature and complexity of the claim;
    (iii) The actual time spent on development and presentation of the 
claim; and
    (iv) Customary local charges for services for a representative of 
similar background and experience.
    (2) Where the claimant disputes the representative's request and 
files an objection with OWCP, an appealable decision will be issued.


Sec.  10.704  What penalties apply to representatives who collect a fee 
without approval?

    Representatives who collect a fee without proper approval from OWCP 
may be charged with a misdemeanor under 18 U.S.C. 292.

Third Party Liability


Sec.  10.705  When must an employee or other FECA beneficiary take 
action against a third party?

    (a) If an injury or death for which benefits are payable under the 
FECA is caused, wholly or partially, by someone other than a Federal 
employee acting within the scope of his or her employment, the claimant 
can be required to take action against that third party.
    (b) The Office of the Solicitor of Labor (SOL) is hereby delegated 
authority to administer the subrogation aspects of certain FECA claims 
for OWCP. Either OWCP or SOL can require a FECA beneficiary to assign 
his or her claim for damages to the United States or to prosecute the 
claim in his or her own name. All information regarding subrogation 
claims administered by SOL should be submitted to Chief, Subrogation 
Unit, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of the Solicitor, 200 
Constitution Avenue, NW., Room S4325, Washington, DC 20210.


Sec.  10.706  How will a beneficiary know if OWCP or SOL has determined 
that action against a third party is required?

    When OWCP determines that an employee or other FECA beneficiary 
must take action against a third party, it will notify the employee or 
beneficiary in writing. If the case is transferred to SOL, a second 
notification may be issued.


Sec.  10.707  What must a FECA beneficiary who is required to take 
action against a third party do to satisfy the requirement that the 
claim be ``prosecuted''?

    At a minimum, a FECA beneficiary must do the following:
    (a) Seek damages for the injury or death from the third party, 
either through an attorney or on his or her own behalf;
    (b) Either initiate a lawsuit within the appropriate statute of 
limitations period or obtain a written release of this obligation from 
OWCP or SOL unless recovery is possible through a negotiated settlement 
prior to filing suit;
    (c) Refuse to settle or dismiss the case for any amount less than 
the amount necessary to repay OWCP's refundable disbursements, as 
defined in Sec.  10.714, without receiving permission from OWCP or SOL;
    (d) Provide periodic status updates and other relevant information 
in response to requests from OWCP or SOL;
    (e) Submit detailed information about the amount recovered and the 
costs of the suit on a ``Statement of Recovery'' form approved by OMB;
    (f) Submit information regarding the names of all plaintiffs to the 
suit or settlement and their relationship to the injured employee, if 
not the same as the FECA beneficiary;
    (g) If any portion of the settlement or judgment was paid to more 
than one individual, advise whether it was indicated in the settlement 
or judgment the amount each individual is to receive, and if so, the 
percentage of the total award;
    (h) Advise whether any portion of the settlement or judgment was 
paid in more than one capacity, such as a joint payment to a husband 
and wife for personal injury and loss of consortium or a payment to a 
spouse representing both loss of consortium and wrongful death; and
    (i) Pay any required refund.


Sec.  10.708  Can a FECA beneficiary who refuses to comply with a 
request to assign a claim to the United States or to prosecute the 
claim in his or her own name be penalized?

    When a FECA beneficiary refuses a request to either assign a claim 
or prosecute a claim in his or her own name, OWCP may determine that he 
or she has forfeited his or her right to all past or future 
compensation for the injury with respect to which the request is made. 
Alternatively, OWCP may also suspend the FECA beneficiary's 
compensation payments until he or she complies with the request.


Sec.  10.709  What happens if a beneficiary directed by OWCP or SOL to 
take action against a third party does not believe that a claim can be 
successfully prosecuted at a reasonable cost?

    If a beneficiary consults an attorney and is informed that a suit 
for damages against a third party for the injury or death for which 
benefits are payable is unlikely to prevail or that the costs of such a 
suit are not justified by the potential recovery, he or she should 
request that OWCP or SOL release him or her from the obligation to 
proceed. This request should be in writing and provide evidence of the 
attorney's opinion. If OWCP or SOL agrees, the beneficiary will not be 
required to take further action against the third party.


Sec.  10.710  Under what circumstances must a recovery of money or 
other property in connection with an injury or death for which benefits 
are payable under the FECA be reported to OWCP or SOL?

    Any person who has filed a FECA claim that has been accepted by 
OWCP (whether or not compensation has been paid), or who has received 
FECA benefits in connection with a claim filed by another, is required 
to notify OWCP or SOL of the receipt of money or other property as a 
result of a settlement or judgment in connection with the circumstances 
of that claim. This includes an injured employee, and in the case of a 
claim involving the death of an employee, a spouse, children or other 
dependents entitled to receive survivor's benefits. OWCP or SOL should 
be notified in writing within 30 days of the receipt of such money or 
other property or the acceptance of the FECA claim, whichever occurs 
later.


Sec.  10.711  How is the amount of the recovery of the FECA beneficiary 
determined?

    (a) When a FECA beneficiary is entitled to receive money as a 
result of a judgment entered in a lawsuit or settlement of a lawsuit or 
any other settlement or recovery from a responsible third party, the 
entire amount of the award is reported as the gross recovery. To 
determine the amount of the recovery of the FECA beneficiary, 
deductions are made for the portion representing damage to real or 
personal property, the portion

[[Page 49635]]

representing loss of consortium, the portion representing wrongful 
death and the portion representing a survival action. To make 
deductions for loss of consortium, wrongful death and survival action, 
it must be established that:
    (1) These claims were asserted in the suit (or if there was no suit 
that these claims were included in the settlement or recovery); and
    (2) That such claims are permissible under the state law where the 
action was brought.
    (b) OWCP or SOL will determine the appropriate percentage of the 
total judgment or settlement that will be allocated for loss of 
consortium, wrongful death action and survival action. FECA 
beneficiaries may accept OWCP's or SOL's determination or demonstrate 
good cause in writing for a different allocation. Whether to accept a 
specific allocation is at the discretion of OWCP or SOL, even where it 
has been incorporated into the settlement agreement. OWCP or SOL will 
not determine the appropriate percentage to be allocated for loss of 
consortium, wrongful death action and survival action if a judge or 
jury specifies the percentage to be awarded of a contested verdict 
attributable to each of several plaintiffs; in such case, OWCP or SOL 
will accept that percentage allocation.
    (c) The amount of the recovery of the FECA beneficiary will be 
determined as followed:
    (1) If a settlement or judgment is paid to or for one individual, 
the recovery is the gross recovery less the portion representing damage 
to real or personal property. The portion representing damage to real 
or personal property must be established in writing and approved by 
OWCP or SOL.
    (2) In any case involving an injury to an employee where a judgment 
or settlement is paid to or on behalf of more than one individual, the 
recovery is the gross recovery less the portion representing damage to 
real or personal property and less the portion representing loss of 
consortium. OWCP or SOL will allocate up to 25% for a spouse and up to 
5% for each child not to exceed 15% for all children for loss of 
consortium.
    (3) In any case involving the death of an employee, where both 
wrongful death and survival actions have been asserted, separate 
statements of recovery are completed for the deceased employee and the 
surviving FECA beneficiaries. For the deceased employee, the recovery 
is the gross recovery less the portion representing damage to real or 
personal property, less the portion representing loss of consortium, 
less the portion representing the wrongful death action. For the 
surviving spouse and children, the recovery is the gross recovery less 
the portion representing damage to real or personal property, less the 
portion representing loss of consortium, less the portion representing 
the survival action. OWCP or SOL will allocate the total judgment or 
settlement as follows:
    (i) For loss of consortium, OWCP or SOL will allocate up to 15% for 
a spouse and up to 5% for each child not to exceed 10% for all 
children;
    (ii) For the wrongful death action, OWCP or SOL will allocate 65% 
of the remainder after subtraction of the amounts attributed to loss of 
consortium;
    (iii) For the survival action, OWCP or SOL will allocate 35% 
percent of the remainder after subtraction of the amounts attributed to 
loss of consortium.
    (d) In any case involving an injury to an employee where a judgment 
or settlement is paid to or on behalf of more than one individual and 
in any case involving the death of an employee, court costs will be 
attributed using the same percentages as was used for loss of 
consortium, wrongful death action and survival action. Attorney fees 
will be determined using the same percentage that was used for the 
gross recovery. These calculations are used only for the purpose of 
determining the amount of the refund and if applicable the surplus.


Sec.  10.712  How much of any settlement or judgment must be paid to 
the United States?

    The statute permits a FECA beneficiary to retain, as a minimum, 
one-fifth of the net amount of money or property remaining after a 
reasonable attorney's fee and the costs of litigation have been 
deducted from the third-party recovery. The United States shares in the 
attorney fees by allowing the beneficiary to retain, at the time of 
distribution, an amount equivalent to a reasonable attorney's fee 
proportionate to the refund due the United States. After the refund 
owed to the United States is calculated, the FECA beneficiary retains 
any surplus remaining, and this amount is credited, dollar for dollar, 
against future compensation including wage-loss compensation, schedule 
award benefits and medical benefits for the same injury, as defined in 
Sec.  10.719. OWCP will resume the payment of compensation only after 
the FECA beneficiary has been awarded compensation which exceeds the 
amount of the surplus.
    (a) The refund to the United States is calculated as follows, using 
the Statement of Recovery form approved by OMB:
    (1) Determine the amount of the recovery of the FECA beneficiary as 
set forth in Sec.  10.711 as follows:
    (i) Set out the gross recovery which is the entire amount of the 
award;
    (ii) Subtract the amount of award representing damage to real or 
personal property approved by OWCP or SOL (Subtotal A);
    (iii) Multiply Subtotal A by the appropriate percentage in Sec.  
10.711(c), or if it is a contested verdict by the percentage allocated 
by the judge or jury, and subtract this amount from Subtotal A 
(Subtotal B);
    (iv) If both a wrongful death action and survival action have been 
asserted, multiply Subtotal B by 65% to determine the amount allocated 
to the wrongful death case and multiply Subtotal B by 35% to determine 
the amount allocated to the survival action, or if it is a contested 
verdict, by the percentage allocated by the judge or jury. Separate 
Statements of Recovery must be completed for each cause of action. For 
the wrongful death action use the result of Subtotal B times 65% for 
Subtotal C and for the survival action use the result of Subtotal B 
times 35% for Subtotal C. If both a wrongful death and survival have 
not been asserted the amount in Subtotal B is used for Subtotal C;
    (v) Subtotal C is the amount of recovery of the FECA beneficiary;
    (2) Subtract the amount of attorney's fees actually paid, but not 
more than the maximum amount of attorney's fees considered by OWCP or 
SOL to be reasonable, from Subtotal C. This is calculated by first 
determining the attorney fee percentage which is determined by dividing 
the gross recovery into the amount of attorney's fees actually paid, 
but the attorney's fee amount must not be more than the maximum amount 
of attorney's fees considered to be reasonable by OWCP or SOL and must 
be approved by OWCP or SOL. Subtotal C is multiplied by the fee 
percentage and this amount is subtracted from Subtotal C (Subtotal D);
    (3) Subtract the costs of litigation, as allowed by OWCP or SOL 
from Subtotal D (Subtotal E). If loss of consortium and/or wrongful 
death and survival actions are claimed, the costs of litigation are 
reduced first by the percentage used for loss of consortium and then by 
the percentage used for wrongful death or survival action as set forth 
in Sec.  10.711;

[[Page 49636]]

    (4) Multiply Subtotal E by 20% and subtract this amount from 
Subtotal E (Subtotal F);
    (5) Compare Subtotal F and the refundable disbursements as defined 
in Sec.  10.714. Subtotal G is the lower of the two amounts;
    (6) Multiply Subtotal G by the percentage used for attorney's fees 
in paragraph (a)(2), to determine the Government's allowance for 
attorney's fees, and subtract this amount from Subtotal G. This is the 
amount of the refund.
    (b) The credit against future benefits (also referred to as the 
surplus) is calculated as follows:
    (1) If Subtotal F, as calculated according to paragraph (a)(4) of 
this section, is less than the refundable disbursements, as defined in 
Sec.  10.714, there is no credit to be applied against future benefits 
(but the remainder of the unused disbursements must be applied to any 
future recovery for the same injury);
    (2) If Subtotal F is greater than the refundable disbursements, the 
credit against future benefits (or surplus) amount is determined by 
subtracting the refundable disbursements from Subtotal F.
    (c) Examples of how these calculations are made follows:
    (1) In this example, a Federal employee sues another party for 
causing injuries for which the employee has received $22,000 in 
benefits under the FECA, subject to refund. The suit is settled and the 
injured employee receives $100,000, all of which was for his injury. 
The injured worker paid attorney's fees of $25,000 and costs for the 
litigation of $3,000.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

------------------------------------------------------------------------
(i) Gross Recovery....................................       $100,000.00
(ii) Amount of Property Damage........................              0.00
(iii) Subtotal A (Line a minus Line b)................        100,000.00
(iv) Amount Allocated for Loss of Consortium 0% of                  0.00
 Line c...............................................
(v) Subtotal B (Line c minus Line d)..................        100,000.00
(vi) Amount Allocated for Wrongful Death 0% of Line e.              0.00
(vii) Amount Allocated for Survival Action 0% of Line               0.00
 e....................................................
(viii) Subtotal C--If Wrongful Death use Line f, if           100,000.00
 survival action use Line g, otherwise use Subtotal B.
(ix) Attorney's Fees 25% (Line h x .25)...............         25,000.00
(x) Subtotal D (Line h minus Line i)..................         75,000.00
(xi) Court costs......................................          3,000.00
(xii) Subtotal E (Line j minus Line k)................         72,000.00
(xiii) One-fifth of Subtotal E (Line l x .20).........         14,400.00
(xiv) Subtotal F (Line l minus Line m)................         57,600.00
(xv) Refundable Disbursements.........................         22,000.00
(xvi) Subtotal G (lower of Subtotal F or refundable            22,000.00
 disbursements).......................................
(xvii) Government's allowance for attorney's fees               5,500.00
 (attorney's fees percentage used to determine
 Subtotal D multiplied by Subtotal G).................
(xviii) Refund to the United States (Line p minus Line         16,500.00
 q)...................................................
(xix) Credit against future benefits (If Subtotal F            35,600.00
 greater than refundable disbursements, Line n minus
 Line o)..............................................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

     (2) In this example, a Federal employee who is married sues 
another party for causing injuries as a result of car accident where 
she was driving her personally owned vehicle on approved travel and the 
employee received $75,000 in disbursements. The suit includes a claim 
for loss of consortium which is permitted under the state law and for 
damage to her vehicle (documented at $50,000.00). A joint settlement is 
reached where the injured employee and her spouse receive $250,000 for 
all their claims. Attorney's fees were $83,325 and there were $25,000 
in approved court costs.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

------------------------------------------------------------------------
(i) Gross Recovery....................................       $250,000.00
(ii) Amount of Property Damage........................         50,000.00
(iii) Subtotal A (Line a minus Line b)................        200,000.00
(iv) Amount Allocated for Loss of Consortium (25% of           50,000.00
 Line c)..............................................
(v) Subtotal B (Line c minus Line d)..................        150,000.00
(vi) Amount Allocated for Wrongful Death 0% of Line e.              0.00
(vii) Amount Allocated for Survival Action 0% of Line               0.00
 e....................................................
(viii) Subtotal C--If Wrongful Death Use Line f, if           150,000.00
 survival action use Line g, otherwise use Subtotal B.
(ix) Attorney's Fees 33.33% (line h x .3333)..........         49,995.00
(x) Subtotal D (Line h minus Line i)..................        100,005.00
(xi) Court costs are reduced by the amount allocated           18,750.00
 for the loss of consortium (in this example, $25,000-
 ($25,000 x .25)).....................................
(xii) Subtotal E (line j minus Line k)................         81,255.00
(xiii) One-fifth of Subtotal E (Line l x .20).........         16,251.00
(xiv) Subtotal F (Line l minus Line m)................         65,004.00
(xv) Refundable Disbursements.........................         75,000.00
(xvi) Subtotal G (lower of Subtotal F or refundable            65,004.00
 disbursements).......................................
(xvii) Government's allowance for attorney's fees              21,665.83
 (attorney's fees percentage used to determine
 Subtotal D multiplied by subtotal G).................
(xviii) Refund to the United States (Line p minus Line         43,338.17
 q)...................................................
(xix) Credit against future benefits (If Subtotal F is              0.00
 greater than refundable disbursements, Line n minus
 Line o)..............................................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

     (3) In this example, a Federal employee who is married with two 
minor children is killed in the performance of duty. A suit for 
wrongful death and survival is filed which includes claims for loss of 
consortium all of which is permitted under state law. A joint 
settlement is reached for all claims and all parties in the amount of 
$1,000,000. There were court costs of $48,000 and attorney's fees of 
$300,000. Two Statements of Recovery are

[[Page 49637]]

completed one for the wrongful death claim and the other for the 
survival action. Disbursements in this case were $30,000 for the 
deceased employee and $100,000 for the surviving spouse and children.
    (i) For the wrongful death claim the calculation is as follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------

------------------------------------------------------------------------
(A) Gross Recovery....................................     $1,000,000.00
(B) Amount of Property Damage.........................              0.00
(C) Subtotal A (Line a minus Line b)..................      1,000,000.00
(D) Amount Allocated for Loss of Consortium (25% (15%         250,000.00
 for spouse, 5% for each child) of Line c)............
(E) Subtotal B (Line c minus Line d)..................        750,000.00
(F) Amount Allocated for Wrongful Death 65% of Line e.        487,500.00
(G) Amount Allocated for Survival Action 35% of Line e        262,500.00
(H) Subtotal C--If Wrongful Death Use Line f, if              487,500.00
 survival action use Line g, otherwise use Subtotal B.
(I) Attorney's Fees 30% (Line h x .30)................        146,250.00
(J) Subtotal D (Line h minus Line i)..................        341,250.00
(K) Court costs are reduced by the amount allocated            23,400.00
 for the loss of consortium (in this example, .25 x
 $48,000 = 12,000) and then by the amount allocated
 for survivor action, [(48,000-12,000) x .35 =
 12,600], [48,000-12,000-12,600]).....................
(L) Subtotal E (Line j minus Line k)..................        317,850.00
(M) One-fifth of Subtotal E (Line l x .20)............         63,570.00
(N) Subtotal F (Line l minus Line m)..................        254,280.00
(O) Refundable Disbursements..........................        100,000.00
(P) Subtotal G (lower of Subtotal F or refundable             100,000.00
 disbursements).......................................
(Q) Government's allowance for attorney's fees                 30,000.00
 (attorney's fees percentage used to determine
 Subtotal D multiplied by subtotal G).................
(R) Refund to the United States (Line p minus Line q).         70,000.00
(S) Credit against future benefits (If Subtotal F is          154,280.00
 greater than refundable disbursements, Line n minus
 Line o)..............................................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

     (ii) For the survival claim the calculation is as follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------

------------------------------------------------------------------------
(A) Gross Recovery....................................     $1,000,000.00
(B) Amount of Property Damage.........................              0.00
(C) Subtotal A (Line a minus Line b)..................      1,000,000.00
(D) Amount Allocated for Loss of Consortium (25% (15%         250,000.00
 for spouse, 5% for each child) of Line c)............
(E) Subtotal B (Line c minus Line d)..................        750,000.00
(F) Amount Allocated for Wrongful Death 65% of Line e.        487,500.00
(G) Amount Allocated for Survival Action 35% of Line e        262,500.00
(H) Subtotal C--If Wrongful Death Use Line f, if              262,500.00
 survival action use Line g, otherwise use Subtotal B.
(I) Attorney's Fees 30% (line h x .30)................         78,750.00
(J) Subtotal D (Line h minus Line i)..................        183,750.00
(K) Court costs are reduced by the amount allocated            12,600.00
 for the loss of consortium (in this example, .25 x
 $48,000 = 12,000) and then by the amount allocated
 for wrongful death, [(48,000-12,000) x .65 = 23,400],
 [48,000-12,000-23,400])..............................
(L) Subtotal E (Line j minus Line k)..................        171,150.00
(M) One-fifth of Subtotal E (Line l x .20)............         34,230.00
(N) Subtotal F (Line l minus Line m)..................        136,920.00
(O) Refundable Disbursements..........................         30,000.00
(P) Subtotal G (lower of Subtotal F or refundable              30,000.00
 disbursements).......................................
(Q) Government's allowance for attorney's fees                  9,000.00
 (attorney's fees percentage used to determine
 Subtotal D multiplied by subtotal G).................
(R) Refund to the United States (Line p minus Line q).         21,000.00
(S) Credit against future benefits (If Subtotal F is          106,920.00
 greater than refundable disbursements, Line n minus
 Line o)..............................................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sec.  10.713  How is a structured settlement (that is, a settlement 
providing for receipt of funds over a specified period of time) treated 
for purposes of reporting the gross recovery?

    In this situation, the gross recovery to be reported is the present 
value of the right to receive all of the payments included in the 
structured settlement, allocated in the case of multiple recipients in 
the same manner as single payment recoveries.


Sec.  10.714  What amounts are included in the refundable 
disbursements?

    The refundable disbursements of a specific claim consist of the 
total money paid by OWCP from the Employees' Compensation Fund with 
respect to that claim to or on behalf of a FECA beneficiary including 
charges for field nurses, vocational rehabilitation, and second opinion 
and referee physicians, less charges for any medical file review (i.e., 
the physician does not examine the employee) done at the request of 
OWCP. Charges for medical examinations also may be subtracted if the 
FECA beneficiary establishes that the examinations were required to be 
made available to the employee under a statute other than the FECA by 
the employing agency or at the employing agency's cost. Requests for 
disbursements can be made to SOL or OWCP.


Sec.  10.715  Is a beneficiary required to pay interest on the amount 
of the refund due to the United States?

    If the refund due to the United States is not submitted within 30 
days of receiving a request for payment from SOL or OWCP, interest 
shall accrue on the refund due to the United States from the date of 
the request. The rate of interest assessed shall be the rate of the 
current value of funds to the United States Treasury as published in 
the Federal Register (as of the date the request for payment is sent). 
Waiver of the collection of interest shall be in accordance with the 
provisions of the Department of Labor regulations on

[[Page 49638]]

Federal Claims Collection governing waiver of interest, 29 CFR 20.61.


Sec.  10.716  If the required refund is not paid within 30 days of the 
request for repayment, can it be collected from payments due under the 
FECA?

    If the required refund is not paid within 30 days of the request 
for payment, OWCP can, in its discretion, collect the refund by 
withholding all or part of any payments currently payable to the 
beneficiary under the FECA with respect to any injury. The waiver 
provisions of Sec. Sec.  10.432 through 10.440 do not apply to such 
determinations.


Sec.  10.717  Is a settlement or judgment received as a result of 
allegations of medical malpractice in treating an injury covered by the 
FECA a gross recovery that must be reported to OWCP or SOL?

    Since an injury caused by medical malpractice in treating an injury 
covered by the FECA is also an injury covered under the FECA, any 
recovery in a suit alleging such an injury is treated as a gross 
recovery that must be reported to OWCP or SOL.


Sec.  10.718  Are payments to a beneficiary as a result of an insurance 
policy which the beneficiary has purchased a gross recovery that must 
be reported to OWCP or SOL?

    Since payments received by a FECA beneficiary pursuant to an 
insurance policy purchased by someone other than a liable third party 
are not payments in satisfaction of liability for causing an injury 
covered by the FECA, they are not considered a gross recovery covered 
by section 8132 that requires filing a Statement of Recovery and paying 
any required refund.


Sec.  10.719  If a settlement or judgment is received for more than one 
wound or medical condition, can the refundable disbursements paid on a 
single FECA claim be attributed to different conditions for purposes of 
calculating the refund or credit owed to the United States?

    (a) All wounds, diseases or other medical conditions accepted by 
OWCP in connection with a single claim are treated as the same injury 
for the purpose of computing any required refund and any credit against 
future benefits in connection with the receipt of a recovery from a 
third party, except that an injury caused by medical malpractice in 
treating an injury covered under the FECA will be treated as a separate 
injury for purposes of section 8132.
    (b) If an injury covered under the FECA is caused under 
circumstances creating a legal liability in more than one person, other 
than the United States, to pay damages, OWCP or SOL will determine 
whether recoveries received from one or more third parties should be 
attributed to separate conditions for which compensation is payable in 
connection with a single FECA claim. If such an attribution is both 
practicable and equitable, as determined by OWCP or SOL, in its 
discretion, the conditions will be treated as separate injuries for 
purposes of calculating the refund and credit owed to the United States 
under section 8132.

Federal Grand and Petit Jurors


Sec.  10.725  When is a Federal grand or petit juror covered under the 
FECA?

    (a) Federal grand and petit jurors are covered under the FECA when 
they are in performance of duty as a juror, which includes that time 
when a juror is:
    (1) In attendance at court pursuant to a summons;
    (2) In deliberation;
    (3) Sequestered by order of a judge; or
    (4) At a site, by order of the court, for the taking of a view.
    (b) A juror is not considered to be in the performance of duty 
while traveling to or from home in connection with the activities 
enumerated in paragraphs (a) (1) through (4) of this section.


Sec.  10.726  When does a juror's entitlement to disability 
compensation begin?

    Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1877, entitlement to disability compensation 
does not commence until the day after the date of termination of 
service as a juror.


Sec.  10.727  What is the pay rate of jurors for compensation purposes?

    For the purpose of computing compensation payable for disability or 
death, a juror is deemed to receive pay at the minimum rate for Grade 
GS-2 of the General Schedule unless his or her actual pay as an 
``employee'' of the United States while serving on court leave is 
higher, in which case the pay rate for compensation purposes is 
determined in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 8114.

Peace Corps Volunteers


Sec.  10.730  What are the conditions of coverage for Peace Corps 
volunteers and volunteer leaders injured while serving outside the 
United States?

    (a) Any injury sustained by a volunteer or volunteer leader while 
he or she is located abroad is deemed proximately caused by Peace Corps 
employment and will be found by OWCP to have been sustained in the 
performance of duty, and any illness contracted while that volunteer is 
located abroad will be found by OWCP to be proximately caused by the 
employment unless the evidence establishes:
    (1) The injury or illness was caused by the claimant's willful 
misconduct, intent to bring about the injury or death of self or 
another, or was proximately caused by the intoxication by alcohol or 
illegal drugs of the injured claimant; or
    (2) The illness is shown to have pre-existed the period of service 
abroad; or
    (3) The injury or illness claimed is a manifestation of symptoms 
of, or consequent to, a pre-existing congenital defect or abnormality.
    (b) If the OWCP finds that the evidence indicates that the injury 
or illness may not have been sustained in the performance of duty due 
to the circumstances enumerated in paragraph (a)(2) and (3) of this 
section, the claimant may still prove his claim by the submittal of 
substantial and probative evidence that such injury or illness was 
sustained in the performance of duty with the Peace Corps.
    (c) If an injury or illness, or episode thereof, comes within one 
of the exceptions described in paragraph (a)(2) or (3) of this section, 
the claimant may nonetheless be entitled to compensation. This will be 
so provided he or she meets the burden of proving by the submittal of 
substantial, probative and rationalized medical evidence that the 
illness or injury was proximately caused by factors or conditions of 
Peace Corps service, or that it was materially aggravated, accelerated 
or precipitated by factors of Peace Corps service; if the injury or 
illness was temporarily aggravated by factors of Peace Corps service, 
disability compensation is payable for the period of such aggravation.


Sec.  10.731  What is the pay rate of Peace Corps volunteers and 
volunteer leaders for compensation purposes?

    The pay rate for these claimants is defined as the pay rate in 
effect on the date following separation, provided that the rate equals 
or exceeds the pay rate on the date of injury. It is defined in 
accordance with 5 U.S.C. 8142(a), not 8101(4).

Non-Federal Law Enforcement Officers


Sec.  10.735  When is a non-Federal law enforcement officer (LEO) 
covered under the FECA?

    (a) A law enforcement officer (officer) includes an employee of a 
State or local Government, the Governments of U.S. possessions and 
territories, or an employee of the United States pensioned or 
pensionable under sections 521-535 of Title 4, D.C. Code,

[[Page 49639]]

whose functions include the activities listed in 5 U.S.C. 8191.
    (b) Benefits are available to officers who are not ``employees'' 
under 5 U.S.C. 8101, and who are determined in the discretion of OWCP 
to have been engaged in the activities listed in 5 U.S.C. 8191 with 
respect to the enforcement of crimes against the United States. 
Individuals who only perform administrative functions in support of 
officers are not considered officers.
    (c) Except as provided by 5 U.S.C. 8191 and 8192 and elsewhere in 
this part, the provisions of the FECA and of subparts A, B, and D 
through I of this part apply to officers.


Sec.  10.736  What are the time limits for filing a LEO claim?

    OWCP must receive a claim for benefits under 5 U.S.C. 8191 within 
five years after the injury or death. This five-year limitation is not 
subject to waiver. The tolling provisions of 5 U.S.C. 8122(d) do not 
apply to these claims.


Sec.  10.737  How is a LEO claim filed, and who can file a LEO claim?

    A claim for injury or occupational disease should be filed on Form 
CA-721; a death claim should be filed on Form CA-722. All claims should 
be submitted to the officer's employer for completion and forwarding to 
OWCP. A claim may be filed by the officer, the officer's survivor, or 
any person or association authorized to act on behalf of an officer or 
an officer's survivors.


Sec.  10.738  Under what circumstances are benefits payable in LEO 
claims?

    (a) Benefits are payable when an officer is injured while 
apprehending, or attempting to apprehend, an individual for the 
commission of a Federal crime. However, either an actual Federal crime 
must be in progress or have been committed, or objective evidence (of 
which the officer is aware at the time of injury) must exist that a 
potential Federal crime was in progress or had already been committed. 
The actual or potential Federal crime must be an integral part of the 
criminal activity toward which the officer's actions are directed. The 
fact that an injury to an officer is related in some way to the 
commission of a Federal crime does not necessarily bring the injury 
within the coverage of the FECA. The FECA is not intended to cover 
officers who are merely enforcing local laws.
    (b) For benefits to be payable when an officer is injured 
preventing, or attempting to prevent, a Federal crime, there must be 
objective evidence that a Federal crime is about to be committed. An 
officer's belief, unsupported by objective evidence, that he or she is 
acting to prevent the commission of a Federal crime will not result in 
coverage. Moreover, the officer's subjective intent, as measured by all 
available evidence (including the officer's own statements and 
testimony, if available), must have been directed toward the prevention 
of a Federal crime. In this context, an officer's own statements and 
testimony are relevant to, but do not control, the determination of 
coverage.


Sec.  10.739  What kind of objective evidence of a potential Federal 
crime must exist for coverage to be extended?

    Based on the facts available at the time of the event, the officer 
must have an awareness of sufficient information which would lead a 
reasonable officer, under the circumstances, to conclude that a Federal 
crime was in progress, or was about to occur. This awareness need not 
extend to the precise particulars of the crime (the section of Title 
18, United States Code, for example), but there must be sufficient 
evidence that the officer was in fact engaged in actual or attempted 
apprehension of a Federal criminal or prevention of a Federal crime.


Sec.  10.740  In what situations will OWCP automatically presume that a 
law enforcement officer is covered by the FECA?

    (a) Where an officer is detailed by a competent State or local 
authority to assist a Federal law enforcement authority in the 
protection of the President of the United States, or any other person 
actually provided or entitled to U.S. Secret Service protection, 
coverage will be extended.
    (b) Coverage for officers of the U.S. Park Police and those 
officers of the Uniformed Division of the U.S. Secret Service who 
participate in the District of Columbia Retirement System is 
adjudicated under the principles set forth in paragraph (a) of this 
section, and does not extend to numerous tangential activities of law 
enforcement (for example, reporting to work, changing clothes). 
However, officers of the Non-Uniformed Division of the U.S. Secret 
Service who participate in the District of Columbia Retirement System 
are covered under the FECA during the performance of all official 
duties.


Sec.  10.741  How are benefits calculated in LEO claims?

    (a) Except for continuation of pay, eligible officers and survivors 
are entitled to the same benefits as if the officer had been an 
employee under 5 U.S.C. 8101. However, such benefits may be reduced or 
adjusted as OWCP in its discretion may deem appropriate to reflect 
comparable benefits which the officer or survivor received or would 
have been entitled to receive by virtue of the officer's employment.
    (b) For the purpose of this section, a comparable benefit includes 
any benefit that the officer or survivor is entitled to receive because 
of the officer's employment, including pension and disability funds, 
State workers' compensation payments, Public Safety Officers' Benefits 
Act payments, and State and local lump-sum payments. Health benefits 
coverage and proceeds of life insurance policies purchased by the 
employer are not considered to be comparable benefits.
    (c) The FECA provides that, where an officer receives comparable 
benefits, compensation benefits are to be reduced proportionally in a 
manner that reflects the relative percentage contribution of the 
officer and the officer's employer to the fund which is the source of 
the comparable benefit. Where the source of the comparable benefit is a 
retirement or other system which is not fully funded, the calculation 
of the amount of the reduction will be based on a per capita comparison 
between the contribution by the employer and the contribution by all 
covered officers during the year prior to the officer's injury or 
death.
    (d) The non-receipt of compensation during a period where a dual 
benefit (such as a lump-sum payment on the death of an officer) is 
being offset against compensation entitlement does not result in an 
adjustment of the respective benefit percentages of remaining 
beneficiaries because of a cessation of compensation under 5 U.S.C. 
8133(c).

Subpart I--Information for Medical Providers

Medical Records and Bills


Sec.  10.800  How do providers enroll with OWCP for authorizations and 
billing?

    (a) All providers must enroll with OWCP or its designated bill 
processing agent (hereinafter OWCP in this subpart) to have access to 
the automated authorization system and to submit medical bills to OWCP. 
To enroll, the provider must complete and submit a Form OWCP-1168 to 
the appropriate location noted on that form. By completing and 
submitting this form, providers certify that they satisfy all 
applicable Federal and State licensure and regulatory requirements that 
apply to their specific provider or supplier type. The provider must 
maintain documentary evidence indicating that it satisfies those 
requirements. The provider is also required to notify

[[Page 49640]]

OWCP immediately if any information provided to OWCP in the enrollment 
process changes. Agency medical officers, private physicians and 
hospitals are also required to keep records of all cases treated by 
them under the FECA so they can supply OWCP with a history of the 
injury, a description of the nature and extent of injury, the results 
of any diagnostic studies performed, the nature of the treatment 
rendered and the degree of any impairment and/or disability arising 
from the injury.
    (b) Where a medical provider intends to bill for a procedure where 
prior authorization is required, that provider must request such 
authorization from OWCP.
    (c) After enrollment, a provider must submit all medical bills to 
OWCP through its bill processing portal and include the Provider 
Number/ID obtained through enrollment or other identifying number 
required by OWCP.


Sec.  10.801  How are medical bills to be submitted?

    (a) All charges for medical and surgical treatment, appliances or 
supplies furnished to injured employees, except for treatment and 
supplies provided by nursing homes, shall be supported by medical 
evidence as provided in Sec.  10.800. OWCP may withhold payment for 
services until such report or evidence is provided. The physician or 
provider shall itemize the charges on Form OWCP-1500 or CMS-1500 (for 
professional services or medicinal drugs dispensed in the office), Form 
OWCP-04 or UB-04 (for hospitals), an electronic or paper-based bill 
that includes required data elements (for pharmacies) or other form as 
warranted and accepted by OWCP, and submit the form promptly to OWCP.
    (b) The provider shall identify each service performed using the 
Physician's Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code, the Healthcare 
Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) code, the National Drug Code 
(NDC), or the Revenue Center Code (RCC) with a brief narrative 
description; OWCP has discretion to determine which of these codes may 
be utilized in the billing process. The Director also has the authority 
to create and supply specific procedure codes that will be used by OWCP 
to better describe and allow specific payments for special services. 
These OWCP-created codes will be issued to providers by OWCP as 
appropriate and may only be used as authorized by OWCP. For example, a 
physician conducting a referee or second opinion examination under 5 
U.S.C. 8123 will be furnished an OWCP-created code; a provider may not 
use such an OWCP-created code for other types of medical examinations 
or services. Where no appropriate code is submitted to identify the 
services performed, the bill will be returned to the provider and/or 
denied.
    (c) For professional charges billed on Form OWCP-1500 or CMS-1500, 
the provider shall also state each diagnosed condition and furnish the 
corresponding diagnostic code using the ``International Classification 
of Disease, 9th Edition, Clinical Modification'' (ICD-9-CM), or as 
revised. A separate bill shall be submitted when the employee is 
discharged from treatment or monthly, if treatment for the work-related 
condition is necessary for more than 30 days.
    (1) (i) Hospitals shall submit charges for inpatient medical and 
surgical treatment or supplies promptly to OWCP on Form OWCP-04 or UB-
04.
    (ii) For outpatient billing, the provider shall identify each 
service performed, using Revenue Center Codes (RCCs) and HCPCS/CPT 
codes as warranted. The charge for each individual service, or the 
total charge for all identical services, should also appear on the 
form. OWCP may adopt an Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OWCP 
OPPS) (as developed and implemented by the Center for Medicare and 
Medicaid services (CMS) for Medicare, while modifying the allowable 
costs under Medicare to account for deductibles and other additional 
costs which are covered by FECA). Once adopted, hospital providers 
shall submit outpatient hospital bills on the current version of the 
Universal Billing Form (UB) and use HCPCS codes and other coding 
schemes in accordance with the OWCP OPPS.
    (2) Pharmacies shall itemize charges for prescription medications, 
appliances, or supplies on electronic or paper-based bills and submit 
them promptly to OWCP. Bills for prescription medications must include 
the NDC assigned to the product, the generic or trade name of the drug 
provided, the prescription number, the quantity provided, and the date 
the prescription was filled.
    (3) Nursing homes shall itemize charges for appliances, supplies or 
services on the provider's billhead stationery and submit them promptly 
to OWCP. Such charges shall be subject to any applicable OWCP fee 
schedule.
    (d) By submitting a bill and/or accepting payment, the provider 
signifies that the service for which reimbursement is sought was 
performed as described, necessary, appropriate and properly billed in 
accordance with accepted industry standards. For example, accepted 
industry standards preclude upcoding billed services for extended 
medical appointments when the employee actually had a brief routine 
appointment, or charging for the services of a professional when a 
paraprofessional or aide performed the service; industry standards 
prohibit unbundling services to charge separately for services that 
should be billed as a single charge. In addition, the provider thereby 
agrees to comply with all regulations set forth in this subpart 
concerning the rendering of treatment and/or the process for seeking 
reimbursement for medical services, including the limitation imposed on 
the amount to be paid for such services.
    (e) In summary, bills submitted by providers must: be itemized on 
the Health Insurance Claim Form (for physicians) or the OWCP-04 (for 
hospitals); contain the signature or signature stamp of the provider; 
and identify the procedures using HCPCS/CPT codes, RCCs, or NDCs. 
Otherwise, OWCP may deny the bill, and the provider must correct and 
resubmit the bill.


Sec.  10.802  How should an employee prepare and submit requests for 
reimbursement for medical expenses, transportation costs, loss of 
wages, and incidental expenses?

    (a) If an employee has paid bills for medical, surgical or dental 
services, supplies or appliances due to an injury sustained in the 
performance of duty and seeks reimbursement for those expenses, he or 
she may submit a request for reimbursement on Form OWCP-915, together 
with an itemized bill on Form OWCP-1500, CMS-1500, OWCP-04 or UB-04 
prepared by the provider and a medical report as provided in Sec.  
10.800, to OWCP.
    (1) The provider of such service shall state each diagnosed 
condition and furnish the applicable ICD-9-CM code, or as revised, and 
identify each service performed using the applicable HCPCS/CPT code, 
with a brief narrative description of the service performed, or, where 
no code is applicable, a detailed description of that service. If no 
code or description is received, OWCP will deny the reimbursement 
request and correction and resubmission will be required.
    (2) The reimbursement request must be accompanied by evidence that 
the provider received payment for the service from the employee and a 
statement of the amount paid. Acceptable evidence that payment was 
received includes, but is not limited to, a signed statement by the 
provider, a mechanical stamp or other device showing receipt of 
payment, a copy of

[[Page 49641]]

the employee's canceled check (both front and back) or a copy of the 
employee's credit card receipt or a form indicating a balance of zero 
to the provider.
    (b) If services were provided by a hospital, pharmacy or nursing 
home, the employee should submit the bill in accordance with the 
provisions of Sec.  10.801(a). Any request for reimbursement must be 
accompanied by evidence, as described in paragraph (a) of this section, 
that the provider received payment for the service from the employee 
and a statement of the amount paid.
    (c) OWCP may waive the requirements of paragraphs (a) and (b) of 
this section if extensive delays in the filing or the adjudication of a 
claim make it unusually difficult for the employee to obtain the 
required information.
    (d) OWCP will not accept copies of bills for reimbursement unless 
they bear the signature of the provider, with evidence of payment. 
Payment for medical and surgical treatment, appliances or supplies 
shall in general be no greater than the maximum allowable charge for 
such service determined by the Director, as set forth in Sec.  10.805.
    (e) An employee will be only partially reimbursed for a medical 
expense if the amount he or she paid to a provider for the service 
exceeds the maximum allowable charge set by the Director's schedule. If 
this happens, OWCP shall advise the employee of the maximum allowable 
charge for the service in question and of his or her responsibility to 
ask the provider to refund to the employee, or credit to the employee's 
account, the amount he or she paid which exceeds the maximum allowable 
charge. The provider may request reconsideration of the fee 
determination as set forth in Sec.  10.812.
    (f) If the provider fails to make appropriate refund to the 
employee, or to credit the employee's account, within 60 days after the 
employee requests a refund of any excess amount, or the date of a 
subsequent reconsideration decision which continues to disallow all or 
a portion of the appealed amount, the provider shall be subject to 
exclusion procedures as provided by Sec.  10.815.
    (g) If the provider does not refund to the employee or credit to 
his or her account the amount of money paid in excess of the charge 
which OWCP allows, the employee should submit documentation of the 
attempt to obtain such refund or credit to OWCP. OWCP may make 
reasonable reimbursement to the employee after reviewing the facts and 
circumstances of the case.
    (h) If an employee seeks reimbursement for transportation costs, 
loss of wages or incidental expenses related to medical treatment under 
this part, that employee may submit such reimbursement request on the 
Medical Travel Refund Request OWCP-957 form to OWCP along with all 
proof of payment. Requests for reimbursement for lost wages under this 
subsection must include an official statement from the employing agency 
indicating the amount of wage loss.


Sec.  10.803  What are the time limitations on OWCP's payment of bills?

    OWCP will pay providers and reimburse employees promptly for all 
bills received on an approved form and in a timely manner. However, no 
bill will be paid for expenses incurred if the bill is submitted more 
than one year beyond the end of the calendar year in which the expense 
was incurred or the service or supply was provided, or more than one 
year beyond the end of the calendar year in which the claim was first 
accepted as compensable by OWCP, whichever is later.

Medical Fee Schedule


Sec.  10.805  What services are covered by the OWCP fee schedule?

    (a) Payment for medical and other health services, devices and 
supplies furnished by physicians, hospitals, and other providers for 
work-related injuries shall not exceed a maximum allowable charge for 
such service as determined by the Director, except as provided in this 
section.
    (b) The schedule of maximum allowable charges does not apply to 
charges for services provided in a nursing home for employees admitted 
to that nursing home prior to [EFFECTIVE DATE OF FINAL RULE], but does 
apply to all charges for services provided by a nursing home where the 
employee was admitted to that nursing home after that date. The 
schedule does apply to charges for treatment furnished in a nursing 
home by a physician or other medical professional at any time.
    (c) The schedule of maximum allowable charges also does not apply 
to charges for appliances, supplies, services or treatment furnished by 
medical facilities of the U.S. Public Health Service or the Departments 
of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Veterans Affairs.


Sec.  10.806  How are the maximum fees defined?

    For professional medical services, the Director shall maintain a 
schedule of maximum allowable fees for procedures performed in a given 
locality. The schedule shall consist of: An assignment of Relative 
Value Units (RVU) to procedures identified by Healthcare Common 
Procedure Coding System/Current Procedural Terminology (HCPCS/CPT) code 
which represents the relative skill, effort, risk and time required to 
perform the procedure, as compared to other procedures of the same 
general class; an assignment of Geographic Practice Cost Index (GPCI) 
values which represent the relative work, practice expenses and 
malpractice expenses relative to other localities throughout the 
country; and a monetary value assignment (conversion factor) for one 
unit of value for each coded service.


Sec.  10.807  How are payments for particular services calculated?

    Payment for a procedure, service or device identified by a HCPCS/
CPT code shall not exceed the amount derived by multiplying the 
Relative Value Units (RVU) values for that procedure by the Geographic 
Practice Cost Index (GPCI) values for services in that area and by the 
conversion factor to arrive at a dollar amount assigned to one unit in 
that category of service.
    (a) The ``locality'' which serves as a basis for the determination 
of cost is defined by the Office of Management and Budget Metropolitan 
Statistical Areas. The Director shall base the determination of the 
relative per capita cost of medical care in a locality using 
information about enrollment and medical cost per county, provided by 
the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
    (b) The Director shall assign the RVUs published by CMS to all 
services for which CMS has made assignments, using the most recent 
revision. Where there are no RVUs assigned to a procedure, the Director 
may develop and assign any RVUs that he or she considers appropriate. 
The geographic adjustment factor shall be that designated by GPCI for 
Metropolitan Statistical Areas as devised for CMS and as updated or 
revised by CMS from time to time. The Director will devise conversion 
factors for each category of service as appropriate using OWCP's 
processing experience and internal data.
    (c) For example, if the RVUs for a particular surgical procedure 
are 2.48 for physician's work (W), 3.63 for practice expense (PE), and 
0.48 for malpractice insurance (MP), and the conversion factor assigned 
to one unit in that category of service (surgery) is $61.20, then the 
maximum allowable charge for one performance of that procedure is the 
product of the three RVUs times the corresponding GPCI values for the 
locality times the

[[Page 49642]]

conversion factor. If the GPCI values for the locality are 0.988 (W), 
0.948 (PE), and 1.174 (MP), then the maximum payment calculation is:

[(2.48)(0.988) + (3.63)(0.948) + (0.48)(1.174)] x $61.20
[2.45 + 3.44 + .56] x $61.20
6.45 x $61.20 = $394.74

Sec.  10.808  Does the fee schedule apply to every kind of procedure?

    Where the time, effort and skill required to perform a particular 
procedure vary widely from one occasion to the next, the Director may 
choose not to assign a relative value to that procedure. In this case 
the allowable charge for the procedure will be set individually based 
on consideration of a detailed medical report and other evidence. At 
its discretion, OWCP may set fees without regard to schedule limits for 
specially authorized consultant examinations, for examinations 
performed under 5 U.S.C. 8123, and for other specially authorized 
services.


Sec.  10.809  How are payments for medicinal drugs determined?

    Payment for medicinal drugs prescribed by physicians shall not 
exceed the amount derived by multiplying the average wholesale price, 
or as otherwise specified by OWCP, of the medication by the quantity or 
amount provided, plus a dispensing fee. OWCP may, in its discretion, 
contract for or require the use of specific providers for certain 
medications.
    (a) All prescription medications identified by National Drug Code 
(NDC) will be assigned an average wholesale price representing the 
product's nationally recognized wholesale price as determined by 
surveys of manufacturers and wholesalers, or by other method designated 
by OWCP. The Director will establish the dispensing fee, which will not 
be affected by the location or type of provider dispensing the 
medication.
    (b) The NDCs, the average wholesale prices, and the dispensing fee 
shall be reviewed from time to time and updated as necessary.
    (c) With respect to prescribed medications, OWCP may require the 
use of generic equivalents where they are available.


Sec.  10.810  How are payments for inpatient medical services 
determined?

    (a) OWCP will pay for inpatient medical services according to pre-
determined, condition-specific rates based on the Inpatient Prospective 
Payment System (IPPS) devised by CMS (42 CFR parts 412, 413, 424, 485, 
and 489). Using this system, payment is derived by multiplying the 
diagnosis-related group (DRG) weight assigned to the hospital discharge 
by the provider-specific factors.
    (1) All inpatient hospital discharges will be classified according 
to the DRGs prescribed by the CMS in the form of the DRG Grouper 
software program. Each DRG represents the average resources necessary 
to provide care in a case in that DRG relative to the national average 
of resources consumed per case.
    (2) The provider-specific factors will be provided by CMS in the 
form of their PPS Pricer software program. The software takes into 
consideration the type of facility, census division, actual geographic 
location (MSA) of the hospital, case mix cost per discharge, number of 
hospital beds, intern/beds ratio, operating cost to charge ratio, and 
other factors used by CMS to determine the specific rate for a hospital 
discharge under their PPS. The Director may devise price adjustment 
factors as appropriate using OWCP's processing experience and internal 
data.
    (3) OWCP will base payments to facilities excluded from CMS' IPPS 
on consideration of detailed medical reports and other evidence.
    (4) The Director shall review the pre-determined hospital rates at 
least once a year, and may adjust any or all components when he or she 
deems it necessary or appropriate.
    (b) The Director shall review the schedule of fees at least once a 
year, and may adjust the schedule or any of its components when he or 
she deems it necessary or appropriate.


Sec.  10.811  When and how are fees reduced?

    (a) OWCP accepts a provider's designation of the code used to 
identify a billed procedure or service if the code is consistent with 
the medical and other evidence, and will pay no more than the maximum 
allowable fee for that procedure. If the code is not consistent with 
the medical evidence or where no code is supplied, the bill will be 
returned to the provider for correction and resubmission.
    (b) If the charge submitted for a service supplied to an injured 
employee exceeds the maximum amount determined to be reasonable 
according to the schedule, OWCP shall pay the amount allowed by the 
schedule for that service and shall notify the provider in writing that 
payment was reduced for that service in accordance with the schedule. 
OWCP shall also notify the provider of the method for requesting 
reconsideration of the balance of the charge.


Sec.  10.812  If OWCP reduces a fee, may a provider request 
reconsideration of the reduction?

    (a) A physician or other provider whose charge for service is only 
partially paid because it exceeds a maximum allowable amount set by the 
Director may, within 30 days, request reconsideration of the fee 
determination.
    (1) The provider should make such a request to the OWCP district 
office with jurisdiction over the employee's claim. The request must be 
accompanied by documentary evidence that the procedure performed was 
incorrectly identified by the original code, that the presence of a 
severe or concomitant medical condition made treatment especially 
difficult, or that the provider possessed unusual qualifications. In 
itself, board-certification in a specialty is not sufficient evidence 
of unusual qualifications to justify an exception. These are the only 
three circumstances which will justify reevaluation of the paid amount.
    (2) A list of OWCP district offices and their respective areas of 
jurisdiction is available upon request from the U.S. Department of 
Labor, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, Washington, DC 20210, 
or from the Internet at http://www.dol.gov./owcp. Within 30 days of 
receiving the request for reconsideration, the OWCP district office 
shall respond in writing stating whether or not an additional amount 
will be allowed as reasonable, considering the evidence submitted.
    (b) If the OWCP district office issues a decision which continues 
to disallow a contested amount, the provider may apply to the Regional 
Director of the region with jurisdiction over the OWCP district office. 
The application must be filed within 30 days of the date of such 
decision, and it may be accompanied by additional evidence. Within 60 
days of receipt of such application, the Regional Director shall issue 
a decision in writing stating whether or not an additional amount will 
be allowed as reasonable, considering the evidence submitted. This 
decision shall be final, and shall not be subject to further review.


Sec.  10.813  If OWCP reduces a fee, may a provider bill the claimant 
for the balance?

    A provider whose fee for service is partially paid by OWCP as a 
result of the application of its fee schedule or other tests for 
reasonableness in accordance with this part shall not request 
reimbursement from the employee for additional amounts.
    (a) Where a provider's fee for a particular service or procedure is 
lower to the general public than as provided

[[Page 49643]]

by the schedule of maximum allowable charges, the provider shall bill 
at the lower rate. A fee for a particular service or procedure which is 
higher than the provider's fee to the general public for that same 
service or procedure will be considered a charge ``substantially in 
excess of such provider's customary charges'' for the purposes of Sec.  
10.815(d).
    (b) A provider whose fee for service is partially paid by OWCP as 
the result of the application of the schedule of maximum allowable 
charges and who collects or attempts to collect from the employee, 
either directly or through a collection agent, any amount in excess of 
the charge allowed by OWCP, and who does not cease such action or make 
appropriate refund to the employee within 60 days of the date of the 
decision of OWCP, shall be subject to the exclusion procedures provided 
by Sec.  10.815(h).

Exclusion of Providers


Sec.  10.815  What are the grounds for excluding a provider from 
payment under the FECA?

    A physician, hospital, or provider of medical services, appliances 
or supplies shall be excluded from payment under the FECA if such 
physician, hospital or provider has:
    (a) Been convicted under any criminal statute of fraudulent 
activities in connection with any Federal or State program for which 
payments are made to providers for similar medical, surgical or 
hospital services, appliances or supplies;
    (b) Been excluded or suspended, or has resigned in lieu of 
exclusion or suspension, from participation in any Federal or State 
program referred to in paragraph (a) of this section;
    (c) Knowingly made, or caused to be made, any false statement or 
misrepresentation of a material fact in connection with a determination 
of the right to reimbursement under the FECA, or in connection with a 
request for payment;
    (d) Submitted, or caused to be submitted, three or more bills or 
requests for payment within a 12-month period under this subpart 
containing charges which OWCP finds to be substantially in excess of 
such provider's customary charges, unless OWCP finds there is good 
cause for the bills or requests containing such charges;
    (e) Knowingly failed to timely reimburse employees for treatment, 
services or supplies furnished under this subpart and paid for by OWCP;
    (f) Failed, neglected or refused on three or more occasions during 
a 12-month period to submit full and accurate medical reports, or to 
respond to requests by OWCP for additional reports or information, as 
required by the FECA and Sec.  10.800;
    (g) Knowingly furnished treatment, services or supplies which are 
substantially in excess of the employee's needs, or of a quality which 
fails to meet professionally recognized standards; or
    (h) Collected or attempted to collect from the employee, either 
directly or through a collection agent, an amount in excess of the 
charge allowed by OWCP for the procedure performed, and has failed or 
refused to make appropriate refund to the employee, or to cease such 
collection attempts, within 60 days of the date of the decision of 
OWCP.
    (i) Failed to inform OWCP of any change in their provider status as 
required in section 10.800 of this title.
    (j) Engaged in conduct related to care of an employee's FECA 
covered injury that OWCP finds to be misleading, deceptive or unfair.


Sec.  10.816  What will cause OWCP to automatically exclude a physician 
or other provider of medical services and supplies?

    (a) OWCP shall automatically exclude a physician, hospital, or 
provider of medical services or supplies who has been convicted of a 
crime described in Sec.  10.815(a), or has been excluded or suspended, 
or has resigned in lieu of exclusion or suspension, from participation 
in any program as described in Sec.  10.815(b).
    (b) The exclusion applies to participating in the program and to 
seeking payment under the FECA for services performed after the date of 
the entry of the judgment of conviction or order of exclusion, 
suspension or resignation, as the case may be, by the court or agency 
concerned. Proof of the conviction, exclusion, suspension or 
resignation may consist of a copy thereof authenticated by the seal of 
the court or agency concerned.
    (c) A provider may be excluded on a voluntary basis at any time.


Sec.  10.817  How are OWCP's exclusion procedures initiated?

    (a) Upon receipt of information indicating that a physician, 
hospital or provider of medical services or supplies (hereinafter the 
provider) has or may have engaged in activities enumerated in Sec.  
10.815(c) through (j) OWCP will forward that information to the 
Department of Labor's Office of Inspector General (DOL OIG) for its 
consideration. If the information was provided directly to DOL OIG, DOL 
OIG will notify OWCP of its receipt and implement the appropriate 
action within its authority, unless such notification will or may 
compromise the identity of confidential sources, or compromise or 
prejudice an ongoing or potential criminal investigation.
    (b) DOL OIG will conduct such action as it deems necessary, and, 
when appropriate, provide a written report as described in paragraph 
(c) of this section to OWCP. OWCP will then determine whether to 
initiate procedures to exclude the provider from participation in the 
FECA program. If DOL OIG determines not to take any further action, it 
will promptly notify OWCP.
    (c) If DOL OIG discovers reasonable cause to believe that 
violations of Sec.  10.815 have occurred, it shall, when appropriate, 
prepare a written report, i.e., investigative memorandum, and forward 
that report along with supporting evidence to OWCP. The report shall be 
in the form of a single memorandum in narrative form with attachments.
    (1) The report should contain all of the following elements:
    (i) A brief description and explanation of the subject provider or 
providers;
    (ii) A concise statement of the DOL OIG's findings upon which 
exclusion may be based;
    (iii) A summary of the events that make up the DOL OIG's findings;
    (iv) A discussion of the documentation supporting the DOL OIG's 
findings;
    (v) A discussion of any other information that may have bearing 
upon the exclusion process; and
    (vi) The supporting documentary evidence including any expert 
opinion rendered in the case.
    (2) The attachments to the report should be provided in a manner 
that they may be easily referenced from the report.


Sec.  10.818  How is a provider notified of OWCP's intent to exclude 
him or her?

    Following receipt of the investigative report, OWCP will determine 
if there exists a reasonable basis to exclude the provider or 
providers. If OWCP determines that such a basis exists, OWCP shall 
initiate the exclusion process by sending the provider a letter, by 
certified mail and with return receipt requested, which shall contain 
the following:
    (a) A concise statement of the grounds upon which exclusion shall 
be based;
    (b) A summary of the information, with supporting documentation, 
upon which OWCP has relied in reaching an initial decision that 
exclusion proceedings should begin;
    (c) An invitation to the provider to:
    (1) Resign voluntarily from eligibility for providing services 
under this part

[[Page 49644]]

without admitting or denying the allegations presented in the letter; 
or
    (2) Request a decision on exclusion based upon the existing record 
and any additional documentary information the provider may wish to 
furnish;
    (d) A notice of the provider's right, in the event of an adverse 
ruling by the deciding official, to request a formal hearing before an 
administrative law judge;
    (e) A notice that should the provider fail to answer (as described 
in Sec.  10.819) the letter of intent within 60 days of receipt, the 
deciding official may deem the allegations made therein to be true and 
may order exclusion of the provider without conducting any further 
proceedings; and
    (f) The address to where the answer from the provider should be 
sent.


Sec.  10.819  What requirements must the provider's answer and OWCP's 
decision meet?

    (a) The provider's answer shall be in writing and shall include an 
answer to OWCP's invitation to resign voluntarily. If the provider does 
not offer to resign, he or she shall request that a determination be 
made upon the existing record and any additional information provided.
    (b) Should the provider fail to answer the letter of intent within 
60 days of receipt, the deciding official may deem the allegations made 
therein to be true and may order exclusion of the provider.
    (c) The provider may inspect or request copies of information in 
the record at any time prior to the deciding official's decision by 
making such request to OWCP within 20 days of receipt of the letter of 
intent.
    (d) Any response from the provider will be forwarded to DOL OIG, 
which shall have 30 days to answer the provider's response. That answer 
will be forwarded to the provider, who shall then have 15 days to 
reply.
    (e) The deciding official shall be the Regional Director in the 
region in which the provider is located unless otherwise specified by 
the Director of the Division of Federal Employees' Compensation.
    (f) The deciding official shall issue his or her decision in 
writing, and shall send a copy of the decision to the provider by 
certified mail, return receipt requested. The decision shall advise the 
provider of his or her right to request, within 30 days of the date of 
an adverse decision, a formal hearing before an administrative law 
judge under the procedures set forth in Sec. Sec.  10.820 through 
10.823. The filing of a request for a hearing within the time specified 
shall stay the effectiveness of the decision to exclude.


Sec.  10.820  How can an excluded provider request a hearing?

    A request for a hearing shall be sent to the deciding official and 
shall contain:
    (a) A concise notice of the issues on which the provider desires to 
give evidence at the hearing;
    (b) Any request for the presentation of oral argument or evidence; 
and
    (c) Any request for a certification of questions concerning 
professional medical standards, medical ethics or medical regulation 
for an advisory opinion from a competent recognized professional 
organization or Federal, State or local regulatory body.


Sec.  10.821  How are hearings assigned and scheduled?

    (a) If the deciding official receives a timely request for hearing, 
the OWCP representative shall refer the matter to the Chief 
Administrative Law Judge of the Department of Labor, who shall assign 
it for an expedited hearing. The administrative law judge assigned to 
the matter shall consider the request for hearing, act on all requests 
therein, and issue a Notice of Hearing and Hearing Schedule for the 
conduct of the hearing. A copy of the hearing notice shall be served on 
the provider by certified mail, return receipt requested. The Notice of 
Hearing and Hearing Schedule shall include:
    (1) A ruling on each item raised in the request for hearing;
    (2) A schedule for the prompt disposition of all preliminary 
matters, including requests for the certification of questions to 
advisory bodies; and
    (3) A scheduled hearing date not less than 30 days after the date 
the schedule is issued, and not less than 15 days after the scheduled 
conclusion of preliminary matters, provided that the specific time and 
place of the hearing may be set on 10 days' notice.
    (b) The provider is entitled to be heard on any matter placed in 
issue by his or her response to the Notice of Intent to Exclude, and 
may designate ``all issues'' for purposes of hearing. However, a 
specific designation of issues is required if the provider wishes to 
interpose affirmative defenses, or request the issuance of subpoenas or 
the certification of questions for an advisory opinion.


Sec.  10.822  How are subpoenas or advisory opinions obtained?

    (a) The provider may apply to the administrative law judge for the 
issuance of subpoenas upon a showing of good cause therefor.
    (b) A certification of a request for an advisory opinion concerning 
professional medical standards, medical ethics or medical regulation to 
a competent recognized or professional organization or Federal, State 
or local regulatory agency may be made:
    (1) As to an issue properly designated by the provider, in the 
sound discretion of the administrative law judge, provided that the 
request will not unduly delay the proceedings;
    (2) By OWCP on its own motion either before or after the 
institution of proceedings, and the results thereof shall be made 
available to the provider at the time that proceedings are instituted 
or, if after the proceedings are instituted, within a reasonable time 
after receipt. The opinion, if rendered by the organization or agency, 
is advisory only and not binding on the administrative law judge.


Sec.  10.823  How will the administrative law judge conduct the hearing 
and issue the recommended decision?

    (a) To the extent appropriate, proceedings before the 
administrative law judge shall be governed by 29 CFR part 18.
    (b) The administrative law judge shall receive such relevant 
evidence as may be adduced at the hearing. Parties to the hearing are 
the provider and OWCP. Evidence shall be presented under oath, orally 
or in the form of written statements. The administrative law judge 
shall consider the Notice and Response, including all pertinent 
documents accompanying them, and may also consider any evidence which 
refers to the provider or to any claim with respect to which the 
provider has provided medical services, hospital services, or medical 
services and supplies, and such other evidence as the administrative 
law judge may determine to be necessary or useful in evaluating the 
matter.
    (c) All hearings shall be recorded and the original of the complete 
transcript shall become a permanent part of the official record of the 
proceedings.
    (d) Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 8126 and 29 CFR Part 18, the 
administrative law judge may issue subpoenas, administer oaths, and 
examine witnesses with respect to the proceedings.
    (e) At the conclusion of the hearing, the administrative law judge 
shall issue a recommended decision and cause it to be served on all 
parties to the proceeding, their representatives and the Director of 
OWCP.


Sec.  10.824  How does the recommended decision become final?

    (a) Within 30 days from the date the recommended decision is 
issued, each

[[Page 49645]]

party may state, in writing, whether the party objects to the 
recommended decision. This written statement should be filed with the 
Director of OWCP.
    (b) For purposes of determining whether the written statement 
referred to in paragraph (a) of this section has been timely filed with 
the Director, the statement will be considered to be ``filed'' on the 
date that the provider mails it to the Director, as determined by 
postmark or the date that such written statement is actually received 
by the Director, whichever is earlier.
    (c) Written statements objecting to the recommended decision may be 
filed upon one or more of the following grounds:
    (1) A finding or conclusion of material fact is not supported by 
substantial evidence;
    (2) A necessary legal conclusion is erroneous;
    (3) The decision is contrary to law or to the duly promulgated 
rules or decisions of the Director;
    (4) A substantial question of law, policy, or discretion is 
involved; or
    (5) A prejudicial error of procedure was committed.
    (d) Each issue shall be separately numbered and plainly and 
concisely stated, and shall be supported by detailed citations to the 
record when assignments of error are based on the record, and by 
statutes, regulations or principal authorities relied upon. Except for 
good cause shown, no assignment of error by any party shall rely on any 
question of fact or law upon which the administrative law judge had not 
been afforded an opportunity to pass.
    (e) If a written statement of objection is filed within the 
allotted period of time, the Director will review the objection. The 
Director will forward the written objection to the DOL OIG, which will 
have 14 calendar days from that date to respond. Any response from DOL 
OIG will be forwarded to the provider, which will have 14 calendar days 
from that date to reply.
    (f) The Director of OWCP will consider the recommended decision, 
the written record and any response or reply received and will then 
issue a written, final decision either upholding or reversing the 
exclusion.
    (g) If no written statement of objection is filed within the 
allotted period of time, the Director of OWCP will issue a written, 
final decision accepting the recommendation of the administrative law 
judge.
    (h) The decision of the Director of OWCP shall be final with 
respect to the provider's participation in the program, and shall not 
be subject to further review by any court or agency.


Sec.  10.825  What are the effects of exclusion?

    (a) OWCP may give notice of the exclusion of a physician, hospital 
or provider of medical services or supplies:
    (1) All OWCP district offices;
    (2) All Federal employers;
    (3) The CMS;
    (4) The State or local authority responsible for licensing or 
certifying the excluded party.
    (b) Notwithstanding any exclusion of a physician, hospital, or 
provider of medical services or supplies under this subpart, OWCP shall 
not refuse an employee reimbursement for any otherwise reimbursable 
medical treatment, service or supply if:
    (1) Such treatment, service or supply was rendered in an emergency 
by an excluded physician; or
    (2) The employee could not reasonably have been expected to have 
known of such exclusion.
    (c) An employee who is notified that his or her attending physician 
has been excluded shall have a new right to select a qualified 
physician.


Sec.  10.826  How can an excluded provider be reinstated?

    (a) If a physician, hospital, or provider of medical services or 
supplies has been automatically excluded pursuant to Sec.  10.816, the 
provider excluded will automatically be reinstated upon notice to OWCP 
that the conviction or exclusion which formed the basis of the 
automatic exclusion has been reversed or withdrawn. However, an 
automatic reinstatement shall not preclude OWCP from instituting 
exclusion proceedings based upon the underlying facts of the matter.
    (b) A physician, hospital, or provider of medical services or 
supplies excluded from participation as a result of an order issued 
pursuant to this subpart may apply for reinstatement one year after the 
entry of the order of exclusion, unless the order expressly provides 
for a shorter period. An application for reinstatement shall be 
addressed to the Director for Federal Employees' Compensation, and 
shall contain a concise statement of the basis for the application. The 
application should be accompanied by supporting documents and 
affidavits.
    (c) A request for reinstatement may be accompanied by a request for 
an oral presentation. Oral presentations will be allowed only in 
unusual circumstances where it will materially aid the decision 
process.
    (d) The Director of OWCP shall order reinstatement only in 
instances where such reinstatement is clearly consistent with the goal 
of this subpart to protect the FECA program against fraud and abuse. To 
satisfy this requirement the provider must provide reasonable 
assurances that the basis for the exclusion will not be repeated.

Subpart J--Death Gratuity


Sec.  10.900  What is the death gratuity under this subpart?

    (a) The death gratuity authorized by 5 U.S.C. 8102a and payable 
pursuant to the provisions of this subpart is a payment to a claimant 
who is an eligible survivor (as defined in Sec. Sec.  10.906 and 
10.907) or a designated alternate beneficiary (as defined in Sec. Sec.  
10.908 and 10.909) of an employee who dies of injuries incurred in 
connection with the employee's service with an Armed Force in a 
contingency operation. This payment was authorized by section 1105 of 
Public Law 110-181 (2008). For the purposes of this subchapter, the 
term ``Armed Force'' means the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and 
Coast Guard.
    (b) This death gratuity payment is a FECA benefit, as defined by 
Sec.  10.5(a) of this part. All the provisions and definitions in this 
part apply to claims for payment under this subpart unless otherwise 
specified.


Sec.  10.901  Which employees are covered under this subpart?

    For purposes of this subpart, the term ``employee'' means all 
employees defined in 5 U.S.C. 8101 and Sec.  10.5(h) of this part and 
all non-appropriated fund instrumentality employees as defined in 
section 1587(a)(1) of title 10 of the United States Code.


Sec.  10.902  Does every employee's death due to injuries incurred in 
connection with his or her service with an Armed Force in a contingency 
operation qualify for the death gratuity?

    Yes. All such deaths that occur on or after January 28, 2008 (the 
date of enactment of Public Law 110-181 (2008)) qualify for the death 
gratuity administered by this subpart.


Sec.  10.903  Is the death gratuity payment applicable retroactively?

    An employee's death qualifies for the death gratuity if the 
employee died on or after October 7, 2001, and before January 28, 2008, 
if the death was a result of injuries incurred in connection with the 
employee's service with an Armed Force in the theater of operations of 
Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom.

[[Page 49646]]

Sec.  10.904  Does a death as a result of occupational disease qualify 
for payment of the death gratuity?

    Yes--throughout this subpart, the word ``injury'' is defined as it 
is in 5 U.S.C. 8101(5), which includes a disease proximately caused by 
employment. If an employee's death results from an occupational disease 
incurred in connection with the employee's service in a contingency 
operation, the death qualifies for payment of the death gratuity under 
this subpart.


Sec.  10.905  If an employee incurs a covered injury in connection with 
his or her service with an Armed Force in a contingency operation but 
does not die of the injury until years later, does the death qualify 
for payment of the death gratuity?

    Yes--as long as the employee's death is a result of injuries 
incurred in connection with the employee's service with an Armed Force 
in a contingency operation, the death qualifies for the death gratuity 
of this subpart regardless of how long after the injury the employee's 
death occurs.


Sec.  10.906  What special statutory definitions apply to survivors 
under this subpart?

    For the purposes of paying the death gratuity to eligible survivors 
under this subpart, OWCP will use the following definitions:
    (a) ``Surviving spouse'' means the person who was legally married 
to the deceased employee at the time of his or her death.
    (b) ``Children'' means, without regard to age or marital status, 
the deceased employee's natural children and adopted children. It also 
includes any stepchildren who were a part of the decedent's household 
at the time of death.
    (1) A stepchild will be considered part of the decedent's household 
if the decedent and the stepchild share the same principal place of 
abode in the year prior to the decedent's death. The decedent and 
stepchild will be considered as part of the same household 
notwithstanding temporary absences due to special circumstances such as 
illness, education, business travel, vacation travel, military service, 
or a written custody agreement under which the stepchild is absent from 
the employee's household for less than 180 days of the year.
    (2) A natural child who is an illegitimate child of a male decedent 
is included in the definition of ``children'' under this subpart if:
    (i) The child has been acknowledged in writing signed by the 
decedent;
    (ii) The child has been judicially determined, before the 
decedent's death, to be his child;
    (iii) The child has been otherwise proved, by evidence satisfactory 
to the employing agency, to be the decedent's child; or
    (iv) The decedent had been judicially ordered to contribute to the 
child's support.
    (c) ``Parent'' or ``parents'' mean the deceased employee's natural 
father and mother or father and mother through adoption. It also 
includes persons who stood in loco parentis to the decedent for a 
period of not less than one year at any time before the decedent became 
an employee.
    (1) A person stood in loco parentis when the person assumed the 
status of parent toward the deceased employee. (Any person who takes a 
child of another into his or her home and treats the child as a member 
of his her family, providing parental supervision, support, and 
education as if the child were his or her own child, will be considered 
to stand in loco parentis.)
    (2) Only one father and one mother, or their counterparts in loco 
parentis, may be recognized in any case.
    (3) Preference will be given to those who exercised a parental 
relationship on the date, or most nearly before the date, on which the 
decedent became an employee.
    (d) ``Brother'' and ``sister'' mean any person, without regard to 
age or marital status, who is a natural brother or sister of the 
decedent, a half-brother or half-sister, or a brother or sister through 
adoption. Step-brothers or step-sisters of the decedent are not 
considered a ``brother'' or a ``sister.''


Sec.  10.907  What order of precedence will OWCP use to determine which 
survivors are entitled to receive the death gratuity payment under this 
subpart?

    If OWCP determines that an employee's death qualifies for the death 
gratuity, the FECA provides that the death gratuity payment will be 
disbursed to the living survivor(s) highest on the following list:
    (a) The employee's surviving spouse.
    (b) The employee's children, in equal shares.
    (c) The employee's parents, brothers, and sisters, or any 
combination of them, if designated by the employee pursuant to the 
designation procedures in Sec.  10.909.
    (d) The employee's parents, in equal shares.
    (e) The employee's brothers and sisters, in equal shares.


Sec.  10.908  Can an employee designate alternate beneficiaries to 
receive a portion of the death gratuity payment?

    An employee may designate another person or persons to receive not 
more than 50 percent of the death gratuity payment pursuant to the 
designation procedures in Sec.  10.909. Only living persons, rather 
than trusts, corporations or other legal entities, may be designated 
under this subsection. The balance of the death gratuity will be paid 
according to the order of precedence described in Sec.  10.907.


Sec.  10.909  How does an employee designate a variation in the order 
or percentage of gratuity payable to survivors and how does the 
employee designate alternate beneficiaries?

    (a) Form CA-40 must be used to make a variation in the order or 
percentages of survivors under Sec.  10.907 and/or to make an alternate 
beneficiary designation under Sec.  10.908. A designation may be made 
at any time before the employee's death, regardless of the time of 
injury. The form will not be valid unless it is signed by the employee 
and received and signed prior to the death of the employee by the 
supervisor of the employee or by another official of the employing 
agency authorized to do so.
    (b) Alternatively, any paper executed prior to the effective date 
of this regulation that specifies an alternate beneficiary of the death 
gratuity payment will serve as a valid designation if it is in writing, 
completed before the employee's death, signed by the employee, and 
signed prior to the death of the employee by the supervisor of the 
employee or by another official of the employing agency authorized to 
do so.
    (c) If an employee makes a survivor designation under Sec.  
10.907(c), but does not designate the portions to be received by each 
designated survivor, the death gratuity will be disbursed to the 
survivors in equal shares.
    (d) An alternate beneficiary designation made under Sec.  10.908 
must indicate the percentage of the death gratuity, in 10 percent 
increments up to the maximum of 50 percent, that the designated 
person(s) will receive. No more than five alternate beneficiaries may 
be designated. If the designation fails to indicate the percentage to 
be paid to an alternate beneficiary, the designation to that person 
will be invalid.


Sec.  10.910  What if a person entitled to a portion of the death 
gratuity payment dies after the death of the covered employee but 
before receiving his or her portion of the death gratuity?

    (a) If a person entitled to all or a portion of the death gratuity 
due to the order of precedence for survivors in Sec.  10.907 dies after 
the death of the covered employee but before the person

[[Page 49647]]

receives the death gratuity, the portion will be paid to the living 
survivors otherwise eligible according to the order of precedence 
prescribed in that subsection.
    (b) If a survivor designated under the survivor designation 
provision in Sec.  10.907(c) dies after the death of the covered 
employee but before receiving his or her portion of the death gratuity, 
the survivor's designated portion will be paid to the next living 
survivors according to the order of precedence.
    (c) If a person designated as an alternate beneficiary under Sec.  
10.908 dies after the death of the covered employee but before the 
person receives his or her designated portion of the death gratuity, 
the designation to that person will have no effect. The portion 
designated to that person will be paid according to the order of 
precedence prescribed in Sec.  10.907.
    (d) If there are no living survivors or alternate beneficiaries, 
the death gratuity will not be paid.


Sec.  10.911  How is the death gratuity payment process initiated?

    (a) Either the employing agency or a living claimant (survivor or 
alternate beneficiary) may initiate the death gratuity payment process. 
If the death gratuity payment process is initiated by the employing 
agency notifying OWCP of the employee's death, each claimant must file 
a claim with OWCP in order to receive payment of the death gratuity. 
The legal representative or guardian of any minor child may file on the 
child's behalf. Alternatively, if a claimant initiates the death 
gratuity payment process by filing a claim, the employing agency must 
complete a death notification form and submit it to OWCP. Other 
claimants must also file a claim for their portion of the death 
gratuity.
    (b) The employing agency must notify OWCP immediately upon learning 
of an employee's death that may be eligible for benefits under this 
subpart, by submitting form CA-42 to OWCP. The agency must also submit 
to OWCP any designation forms completed by the employee, and the agency 
must provide as much information as possible about any living survivors 
or alternate beneficiaries of which the agency is aware.
    (1) OWCP will then contact any living survivor(s) or alternate 
beneficiary(ies) it is able to identify.
    (2) OWCP will furnish claim form CA-41 to any identified 
survivor(s) or alternate beneficiary(ies) and OWCP will provide 
information to them explaining how to file a claim for the death 
gratuity.
    (c) Alternatively, any claimant may file a claim for death gratuity 
benefits with OWCP. Form CA-41 may be used for this purpose. The 
claimant will be required to provide any information that he or she has 
regarding any other beneficiaries who may be entitled to the death 
gratuity payment. The claimant must disclose, in addition to the Social 
Security number (SSN) of the deceased employee, the SSNs (if known) and 
all known contact information of all other possible claimants who may 
be eligible to receive the death gratuity payment. The claimant must 
also identify, if known, the agency that employed the deceased employee 
when he or she incurred the injury that caused his or her death. OWCP 
will then contact the employing agency and notify the agency that it 
must complete and submit form CA-42 for the employee. OWCP will also 
contact any other living survivor(s) or alternate beneficiary(ies) it 
is able to identify, furnish to them claim form CA-41, and provide 
information explaining how to file a claim for the death gratuity.
    (d) If a claimant submits a claim for the death gratuity to an 
employing agency, the agency must promptly transmit the claim to OWCP. 
This includes both claim forms CA-41 and any other claim or paper 
submitted which appears to claim compensation on account of the 
employee's death.


Sec.  10.912  What is required to establish a claim for the death 
gratuity payment?

    Claim form CA-41 describes the basic requirements. Much of the 
required information will be provided by the employing agency when it 
completes notification form CA-42. However, the claimant bears the 
burden of proof to ensure that OWCP has the evidence needed to 
establish the claim. OWCP may send any request for additional evidence 
to the claimant and to his or her representative, if any. Evidence 
should be submitted in writing. The evidence submitted must be 
reliable, probative, and substantial. Each claim for the death gratuity 
must establish the following before OWCP can pay the gratuity:
    (a) That the claim was filed within the time limits specified by 
the FECA, as prescribed in 5 U.S.C. 8122 and this part. Timeliness is 
based on the date that the claimant filed the claim for the death 
gratuity under Sec.  10.911, not the date the employing agency 
submitted form CA-42. As procedures for accepting and paying 
retroactive claims were not available prior to the publication of the 
interim final rule, the applicable statute of limitations began to run 
for a retroactive payment under this subpart on August 18, 2009.
    (b) That the injured person, at the time he or she incurred the 
injury or disease, was an employee of the United States as defined in 5 
U.S.C. 8101(1) and Sec.  10.5(h) of this part, or a non-appropriated 
fund instrumentality employee, as defined in 10 U.S.C. 1587(a)(1).
    (c) That the injury or disease occurred and that the employee's 
death was causally related to that injury or disease. The death 
certificate of the employee must be provided. Often, the employing 
agency will provide the death certificate and any needed medical 
documentation. OWCP may request from the claimant any additional 
documentation that may be needed to establish the claim.
    (d) That the employee incurred the injury or disease in connection 
with the employee's service with an Armed Force in a contingency 
operation. This will be determined from evidence provided by the 
employing agency or otherwise obtained by OWCP and from any evidence 
provided by the claimant.
    (1) Section 8102a defines ``contingency operation'' to include 
humanitarian operations, peacekeeping operations, and similar 
operations. (``Similar operations'' will be determined by OWCP.)
    (i) A ``contingency operation'' is defined by 10 U.S.C. 101(a)(13) 
as a military operation that--
    (A) Is designated by the Secretary of Defense as an operation in 
which members of the armed forces are or may become involved in 
military actions, operations, or hostilities against an enemy of the 
United States or against an opposing military force; or
    (B) Results in the call or order to, or retention on, active duty 
of members of the uniformed services under section 688, 12301(a), 
12302, 12304, 12305, or 12406 of Title 10, chapter 15 of Title 10, or 
any other provision of law during a war or during a national emergency 
declared by the President or Congress.
    (ii) A ``humanitarian or peacekeeping operation'' is defined by 10 
U.S.C. 2302(8) as a military operation in support of the provision of 
humanitarian or foreign disaster assistance or in support of a 
peacekeeping operation under chapter VI or VII of the Charter of the 
United Nations. The term does not include routine training, force 
rotation, or stationing.
    (iii) ``Humanitarian assistance'' is defined by 10 U.S.C. 401(e) to 
mean medical, surgical, dental, and veterinary care provided in areas 
of a country that are rural or are underserved by medical,

[[Page 49648]]

surgical, dental, and veterinary professionals, respectively, including 
education, training, and technical assistance related to the care 
provided; construction of rudimentary surface transportation systems; 
well drilling and construction of basic sanitation facilities; 
rudimentary construction and repair of public facilities.
    (2) A contingency operation may take place within the United States 
or abroad. However, operations of the National Guard are only 
considered ``contingency operations'' for purposes of this subpart when 
the President, Secretary of the Army, or Secretary of the Air Force 
calls the members of the National Guard into service. A ``contingency 
operation'' does not include operations of the National Guard when 
called into service by a Governor of a State.
    (3) To show that the injury or disease was incurred ``in connection 
with'' the employee's service with an Armed Force in a contingency 
operation, the claim must show that the employee incurred the injury or 
disease while in the performance of duty as that phrase is defined for 
the purposes of otherwise awarding benefits under FECA.
    (4)(i) When the contingency operation occurs outside of the United 
States, OWCP will find that an employee's injury or disease was 
incurred ``in connection with'' the employee's service with an Armed 
Force in a contingency operation if the employee incurred the injury or 
disease while performing assignments in the same region as the 
operation, unless there is conclusive evidence that the employee's 
service was not supporting the Armed Force's operation.
    (ii) Economic or social development projects, including service on 
Provincial Reconstruction Teams, undertaken by covered employees in 
regions where an Armed Force is engaged in a contingency operation will 
be considered to be supporting the Armed Force's operation.
    (5) To show that an employee's injury or disease was incurred ``in 
connection with'' the employee's service with an Armed Force in a 
contingency operation, the claimant will be required to establish that 
the employee's service was supporting the Armed Force's operation. The 
death gratuity does not cover federal employees who are performing 
service within the United States that is not supporting activity being 
performed by an Armed Force.
    (e) The claimant must establish his or her relationship to the 
deceased employee so that OWCP can determine whether the claimant is 
the survivor entitled to receive the death gratuity payment according 
to the order of precedence prescribed in Sec.  10.907.


Sec.  10.913  In what situations will OWCP consider that an employee 
incurred injury in connection with his or her service with an Armed 
Force in a contingency operation?

    (a) OWCP will consider that an employee incurred injury in 
connection with service with an Armed Force in a contingency operation 
if:
    (1) The employee incurred injury while serving under the direction 
or supervision of an official of an Armed Force conducting a 
contingency operation; or
    (2) The employee incurred injury while riding with members of an 
Armed Force in a vehicle or other conveyance deployed to further an 
Armed Force's objectives in a contingency operation.
    (b) An employee may incur injury in connection with service with an 
Armed Force in a contingency operation in situations other than those 
listed above. Additional situations will be determined by OWCP on a 
case-by-case basis.


Sec.  10.914  What are the responsibilities of the employing agency in 
the death gratuity payment process?

    Because some of the information needed to establish a claim under 
this subpart will not be readily available to the claimants, the 
employing agency of the deceased employee has significant 
responsibilities in the death gratuity claim process. These 
responsibilities are as follows:
    (a) The agency must completely fill out form CA-42 immediately upon 
learning of an employee's death that may be eligible for benefits under 
this subpart. The agency must complete form CA-42 as promptly as 
possible if notified by OWCP that a survivor filed a claim based on the 
employee's death. The agency should provide as much information as 
possible regarding the circumstances of the employee's injury and his 
or her assigned duties at the time of the injury, so that OWCP can 
determine whether the injury was incurred in the performance of duty 
and whether the employee was performing service in connection with an 
Armed Force in a contingency operation at the time.
    (b) The employing agency must promptly transmit any form CA-41's 
received from claimants to OWCP. The employer must also promptly 
transmit to OWCP any other claim or paper submitted that appears to 
claim compensation on account of the employee's death.
    (c) The employing agency must maintain any designations completed 
by the employee and signed by a representative of the agency in the 
employee's official personnel file or a related system of records. The 
agency must forward any such forms to OWCP if the agency submits form 
CA-42 notifying OWCP of the employee's death. The agency must also 
forward any other paper signed by the employee and employing agency 
that appears to make designations of the death gratuity.
    (d) If requested by OWCP, the employing agency must determine 
whether a survivor, who is claiming the death gratuity based on his or 
her status as an illegitimate child of a deceased male employee, has 
offered satisfactory evidence to show that he or she is in fact the 
employee's child.
    (e) The employing agency must notify OWCP of any other death 
gratuity payments under any other law of the United States for which 
the employee's death qualifies. The employing agency also must notify 
OWCP of any other death gratuity payments that have been paid based on 
the employee's death.
    (f) Non-appropriated fund instrumentalities must fulfill the same 
requirements under this subpart as any other employing agency.


Sec.  10.915  What are the responsibilities of OWCP in the death 
gratuity payment process?

    (a) If the death gratuity payment process is initiated by the 
employing agency's submission of form CA-42, OWCP will identify living 
potential claimants. OWCP will make a reasonable effort to provide 
claim form CA-41's to any known potential claimants and provide 
instructions on how to file a claim for the death gratuity payment.
    (b) If the death gratuity payment process is initiated by a 
claimant's submission of a claim, OWCP will contact the employing 
agency and prompt it to submit form CA-42. OWCP will then review the 
information provided by both the claim and form CA-42, and OWCP will 
attempt to identify all living survivors or alternate beneficiaries who 
may be eligible for payment of the gratuity.
    (c) If OWCP determines that the evidence is not sufficient to meet 
the claimant's burden of proof, OWCP will notify the claimant of the 
additional evidence needed. The claimant will be allowed at least 30 
days to submit the additional evidence required. OWCP may also request 
additional information from the employing agency.
    (d) OWCP will review the information provided by the claimant and 
information provided by the employing agency to determine whether the 
claim

[[Page 49649]]

satisfies all the requirements listed in Sec.  10.912.
    (e) OWCP will calculate the amount of the death gratuity payment 
and pay the beneficiaries as soon as possible after accepting the 
claim.


Sec.  10.916  How is the amount of the death gratuity calculated?

    The death gratuity payment under this subpart equals $100,000 minus 
the amount of any death gratuity payments that have been paid under any 
other law of the United States based on the same death. A death 
gratuity payment is a payment in the nature of a gift, beyond 
reimbursement for death and funeral expenses, relocation costs, or 
other similar death benefits. Only other death gratuity payments will 
reduce the amount of the death gratuity provided in this subpart. For 
this reason, death benefits provided to the same employee's survivors 
such as those under 5 U.S.C. 8133 as well as benefits paid under 5 
U.S.C. 8134 are not death gratuity payments, and therefore have no 
effect on the amount of the death gratuity provided under this subpart.
    (a) A payment provided under section 413 of the Foreign Service Act 
of 1980 (22 U.S.C. 3973), is a death gratuity payment, and if a 
deceased employee's survivors received that payment for the employee's 
death, the amount of the death gratuity paid to the survivors under 
this subpart would be reduced by the amount of the Foreign Service Act 
death gratuity. Other death gratuities that would affect the 
calculation of the amount payable include but are not limited to: the 
gratuity provision in section 1603 of the Emergency Supplemental 
Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Hurricane 
Recovery, 2006 (Pub. L. 109-234, June 15, 2006); the $10,000 death 
gratuity to the personal representative of civilian employees, at Title 
VI, Section 651 of the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1996 
(Pub. L. 104-208, September 30, 1996); the death gratuity for members 
of the Armed Forces or any employee of the Department of Defense dying 
outside the United States while assigned to intelligence duties, at 10 
U.S.C. 1489; and the death gratuity for employees of the Central 
Intelligence Agency, at 50 U.S.C. 403k.
    (b) The amount of the death gratuity under this section will be 
calculated before it is disbursed to the employee's survivors or 
alternate beneficiaries, by taking into account any death gratuities 
paid by the time of disbursement. Therefore, any designations made by 
the employee under Sec.  10.909 are only applicable to the amount of 
the death gratuity as described in paragraph (a) of this section. The 
following examples are intended to provide guidance in this 
administration of this subpart.

    (1) Example One.  An employee's survivors are entitled to the 
Foreign Service Act death gratuity; the employee's spouse received 
payment in the amount of $80,000 under that Act. A death gratuity is 
also payable under FECA; the amount of the FECA death gratuity that 
is payable is a total of $20,000. That employee, using Form CA-40 
had designated 50% of the death gratuity under this subpart to be 
paid to his neighbor John Smith who is still living. So, 50% of the 
death gratuity will be paid to his spouse and the remaining 50% of 
the death gratuity paid under this subpart would be paid to John 
Smith. This means the surviving spouse will receive $10,000 and John 
Smith will receive $10,000.
    (2) Example Two.  Employee dies in circumstances that would 
qualify her for payment of the gratuity under this subpart; her 
agency has paid the $10,000 death gratuity pursuant to Public Law 
104-208. The employee had not completed any designation form. The 
FECA death gratuity is reduced by the $10,000 death gratuity and 
employee's spouse receives $90,000.
    (3) Example Three.  An employee of the Foreign Service whose 
annual salary is $75,000 dies in circumstances that would qualify 
for payment of both the Foreign Service Act death gratuity and the 
death gratuity under this subpart. Before his death, the employee 
designated that 40% of the death gratuity under this subpart be paid 
to his cousin Jane Smith, pursuant to the alternate beneficiary 
designation provision at Sec.  10.908 and that 10% be paid to his 
uncle John Doe who has since died. At the time of his death, the 
employee had no surviving spouse, children, parents, or siblings. 
Therefore, the Foreign Service Act death gratuity will not be paid, 
because no eligible survivors according to the Foreign Service Act 
provision exist. The death gratuity under this subpart would equal 
$100,000, because no other death gratuity has been paid, and Jane 
would receive $40,000 according to the employee's designation. As 
John Doe is deceased, no death gratuity may be paid pursuant to the 
designation of a share of the death gratuity to him.

    3. Part 25 is revised to read as follows:

PART 25--COMPENSATION FOR DISABILITY AND DEATH OF NONCITIZEN 
FEDERAL EMPLOYEES OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES

Subpart A--General Provisions
Sec.
25.1 How are claims of Federal employees who are neither citizens 
nor residents adjudicated?
25.2 In general, what is the Director's policy regarding such 
claims?
25.3 What is the authority to settle and pay such claims?
25.4 What type of evidence is required to establish a claim under 
this part?
25.5 How does OWCP adjudicate claims of non-citizen residents of 
possessions or territories?
Subpart B--The Special Schedule of Compensation
25.100 What general provisions does OWCP apply to the Special 
Schedule?
25.101 How is compensation for disability paid?
25.102 How is compensation for death of a non-citizen non-resident 
employee paid?
Subpart C--Extensions of the Special Schedule of Compensation
25.200 How is the Special Schedule applied for employees in the 
Republic of the Philippines?
25.201 How is the Special Schedule applied for employees in 
Australia?
25.202 How is the Special Schedule applied for Japanese seamen?
25.203 How is the Special Schedule applied to non-resident aliens in 
the Territory of Guam?

    Authority:  5 U.S.C. 301, 8137, 8145 and 8149; 1946 
Reorganization Plan No. 2, sec. 3, 3 CFR 1943-1948 Comp., p. 1064; 
60 Stat. 1095; Reorganization Plan No. 19 of 1950, sec. 1, 3 CFR 
1943-1953 Comp., p. 1010; 64 Stat. 1271; Secretary of Labor's Order 
No. 10-2009, 74 FR 218.

Subpart A--General Provisions


Sec.  25.1  How are claims of Federal employees who are neither 
citizens nor residents adjudicated?

    This part describes how OWCP pays compensation under the FECA to 
employees of the United States who are neither citizens nor residents 
of the United States, any territory or Canada, as well as to any 
dependents of such employees. It has been determined that the 
compensation provided under the FECA is substantially disproportionate 
to the compensation for disability or death which is payable in similar 
cases under local law, regulation, custom or otherwise, in areas 
outside the United States, any territory or Canada and therefore a 
special schedule should apply to such cases This special schedule 
applies to any non-citizen non-resident federal employee who is neither 
hired nor employed in the United States, Canada or in a possession or 
territory of the United States. Therefore, with respect to the claims 
of such employees whose injury (or injury resulting in death) has 
occurred subsequent to [DATE 60 DAYS AFTER DATE OF PUBLICATION OF FINAL 
RULE IN THE FEDERAL REGISTER], or may occur, the regulations in this 
part shall apply.


Sec.  25.2  In general, what is the Director's policy regarding such 
claims?

    (a) Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 8137(a)(2), a special schedule is 
established by subpart B of this part that applies to any non-citizen 
non-resident federal employee who is neither hired nor employed in the 
United States, Canada

[[Page 49650]]

or in a possession or territory of the United States (hereinafter non-
citizen non-resident employees). The special schedule in subpart B of 
this part is subject to the exceptions set forth in paragraph (b) of 
this section. The special schedule set forth in subpart B of this part 
applies to claims of such employees whose injury (or injury resulting 
in death) occurred on or after [DATE 60 DAYS AFTER DATE OF PUBLICATION 
OF FINAL RULE IN THE FEDERAL REGISTER].
    (b) This special schedule of compensation established by subpart B 
of this part shall apply to non-citizen non-resident employees outside 
of the United States unless:
    (1) The injured employee receives compensation pursuant to a 
specific separate agreement between the United States and another 
government (or similar compensation from another sovereign government);
    (2) The employee receives compensation pursuant to the special 
schedule under subpart C for the particular locality, or for a class of 
employees in that particular locality; or
    (3) The employee otherwise establishes entitlement to compensation 
under local law pursuant to Sec.  25.100(e).
    (c) Compensation in all cases of such employees paid and closed 
prior to [DATE 60 DAYS AFTER DATE OF PUBLICATION OF FINAL RULE IN THE 
FEDERAL REGISTER] shall be deemed compromised and paid under 5 U.S.C. 
8137. In all other cases, compensation may be adjusted to conform with 
the regulations in this part, or the beneficiary may by compromise or 
agreement with the Director have compensation continued on the basis of 
a previous adjustment of the claim.
    (d) Compensation received by beneficiaries pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 
8137 and the special schedule set forth in subpart B or as otherwise 
specified in paragraph (b) of this section is the exclusive measure of 
compensation in cases of injury (or death from injury) to non-citizen 
non-resident employees of the United States as specified in paragraph 
(a) of this section.
    (e) Compensation for disability and death of non-citizen non-
resident employees outside the United States under this part shall in 
no event exceed that generally payable under the FECA.


Sec.  25.3  What is the authority to settle and pay such claims?

    In addition to the authority to receive, process and pay claims, 
when delegated such representative or agency receiving delegation of 
authority shall, in respect to cases adjudicated under this part, and 
when so authorized by the Director, have authority to make lump-sum 
awards (in the manner prescribed by 5 U.S.C. 8135) whenever such 
authorized representative shall deem such settlement to be for the best 
interest of the United States, and to compromise and pay claims for any 
benefits provided for under this part, including claims in which there 
is a dispute as to questions of fact or law. The Director shall, in 
instructions to the particular representative concerned, establish such 
procedures in respect to action under this section as he or she may 
deem necessary, and may specify the scope of any administrative review 
of such action.


Sec.  25.4  What type of evidence is required to establish a claim 
under this part?

    Claims of non-citizen non-resident employees of the United States 
as specified in Sec.  25.2(a), if otherwise compensable, shall be 
approved only upon evidence of the following nature without regard to 
the date of injury or death for which the claim is made:
    (a) Appropriate certification by the Federal employing 
establishment; or
    (b) An armed service's casualty or medical record; or
    (c) Verification of the employment and casualty by Department of 
Defense personnel; or
    (d) Recommendation of an armed service's ``Claim Service'' based on 
investigations conducted by it.


Sec.  25.5  How does OWCP adjudicate claims of non-citizen residents of 
possessions or territories?

    An employee who is a bona fide permanent resident of any United 
States possession, territory, commonwealth, or trust territory will 
receive the full benefits of the FECA, as amended, except that the 
application of the minimum benefit provisions provided therein shall be 
governed by the restrictions set forth in 5 U.S.C. 8138.

Subpart B--The Special Schedule of Compensation


Sec.  25.100  What general provisions does OWCP apply to the Special 
Schedule?

    (a) The definitions of terms in the FECA, as amended, shall apply 
to terms used in this subpart.
    (b) The provisions of the FECA, unless modified by this subpart or 
otherwise inapplicable, shall be applied whenever possible in the 
application of this subpart.
    (c) The provisions of the regulations for the administration of the 
FECA, as amended or supplemented from time to time by instructions 
applicable to this subpart, shall apply in the administration of 
compensation under this subpart, whenever they can reasonably be 
applied.


Sec.  25.101  How is compensation for disability paid?

    Compensation for disability shall be paid to the non-citizen non-
resident employee as follows:
    (a) Temporary total disability. Where the injured employee is 
disabled and unable to earn wages equivalent to those earned at the 
time of injury for a period of time less than two years, the employee 
shall receive 50 percent of the monthly pay during the period of such 
disability.
    (b) Temporary partial disability. Where the injured employee is 
disabled and unable to earn equivalent wages to those earned at the 
time of injury, but who is not totally disabled for work, the injured 
employee shall receive during the period of disability, that proportion 
of compensation for temporary total disability, as determined under 
paragraph (a) of this section, which is equal in percentage to the 
degree or percentage of physical impairment caused by the disability.
    (c) Permanent total disability. Where it is found that the injured 
employee is disabled and will be or has been unable to earn equivalent 
wages to those earned at the time of injury for greater than two years, 
the employee is deemed permanently disabled. Such employee shall 
receive a lump sum settlement based on compensation equaling 50 percent 
of the monthly pay or a percentage proportionate to the extent of 
disability. The lump sum award shall be made by the manner prescribed 
by 5 U.S.C. 8135.
    (d) Permanent partial disability. Where there is permanent 
disability (impairment) involving the loss, or loss of use, of a member 
or function of the body, the injured employee is entitled to schedule 
compensation at 50 percent of the monthly pay to be paid in a lump sum 
according to 5 U.S.C. 8135, for the following losses and periods:
    (1) Arm lost: 312 weeks' compensation.
    (2) Leg lost: 288 weeks' compensation.
    (3) Hand lost: 244 weeks' compensation.
    (4) Foot lost: 205 weeks' compensation.
    (5) Eye lost: 160 weeks' compensation.
    (6) Thumb lost: 75 weeks' compensation.
    (7) First finger lost: 46 weeks' compensation.
    (8) Great toe lost: 38 weeks' compensation.
    (9) Second finger lost: 30 weeks' compensation.

[[Page 49651]]

    (10) Third finger lost: 25 weeks' compensation.
    (11) Toe, other than great toe, lost: 16 weeks' compensation.
    (12) Fourth finger lost: 15 weeks' compensation.
    (13) Loss of hearing: One ear, 52 weeks' compensation; both ears, 
200 weeks' compensation.
    (14) Breast (one) lost: 52 weeks' compensation.
    (15) Kidney (one) lost: 156 weeks' compensation.
    (16) Larynx lost: 160 weeks' compensation.
    (17) Lung (one) lost: 156 weeks' compensation.
    (18) Penis lost: 205 weeks' compensation.
    (19) Testicle (one) lost: 52 weeks' compensation.
    (20) Tongue lost: 160 weeks' compensation.
    (21) Ovary (one) lost: 52 weeks' compensation.
    (22) Uterus/cervix and vulva/vagina lost: 205 weeks' compensation.
    (23) Skin: 205 weeks' compensation.
    (24) Phalanges: Compensation for loss of more than one phalanx of a 
digit shall be the same as for the loss of the entire digit. 
Compensation for loss of the first phalanx shall be one-half of the 
compensation for the loss of the entire digit.
    (25) Amputated arm or leg: Compensation for an arm or a leg, if 
amputated at or above the elbow or the knee, shall be the same as for 
the loss of the arm or leg; but, if amputated between the elbow and the 
wrist, or between the knee and the ankle, the compensation shall be the 
same as for the loss of the hand or the foot.
    (26) Binocular vision or percent of vision: Compensation for loss 
of binocular vision, or for 80 percent or more of the vision of an eye 
shall be the same as for the loss of the eye.
    (27) Two or more digits: Compensation for loss of two or more 
digits, one or more phalanges of two or more digits of a hand or foot 
may be proportioned to the loss of use of the hand or foot occasioned 
thereby, but shall not exceed the compensation for the loss of a hand 
or a foot.
    (28) Total loss of use: Compensation for a permanent total loss of 
use of a member shall be the same as for loss of the member.
    (29) Partial loss or partial loss of use: Compensation for 
permanent partial loss or loss of use of a member may be for 
proportionate loss of use of the member.
    (30) Consecutive awards: In any case in which there occurs a loss 
or loss of use of more than one member or parts of more than one member 
set forth in paragraph (d) of this section, but not amounting to 
permanent total disability, the award of compensation shall be for the 
loss or loss of use of each such member or part thereof, which awards 
shall run consecutively.
    (31) Other cases: In all other cases within this class of 
disability the compensation during the continuance of disability shall 
be that proportion of compensation for permanent total disability, as 
determined under paragraph (c) of this section, which is equal in 
percentage to the degree or percentage of physical impairment caused by 
the disability.
    (32) Compensation under paragraph (d) of this section for permanent 
partial disability shall be in addition to any compensation for 
temporary total or temporary partial disability under this section, and 
awards for temporary total, temporary partial, and permanent partial 
disability shall run consecutively.
    (e) In the event a beneficiary covered under subpart B can 
demonstrate that the amount payable under the special schedule would 
result in a payment that would be demonstrably less than the amount 
payable under the law of his home country, the Director retains the 
discretion to pay that amount of compensation under 5 U.S.C. 
8137(a)(2)(A), not to exceed the amount payable under FECA. To request 
benefits under this paragraph, the beneficiary must submit the 
following:
    (1) Translated copies of the applicable local statute as well as 
any regulations, policies and procedures the beneficiary avers are 
applicable; and
    (2) A translated copy of an opinion rendered by an attorney 
licensed in that jurisdiction or an advisory opinion from a court or 
administrative tribunal that explains the benefits payable to the 
beneficiary.


Sec.  25.102  How is compensation for death of a non-citizen non-
resident employee paid?

    If the disability causes death, the compensation shall be payable 
in the amount and to or for the benefit of the following persons:
    (a) To the undertaker or person entitled to reimbursement, 
reasonable funeral expenses not exceeding $800.
    (b) To the surviving spouse, if there is no child, 30 percent of 
the monthly pay until his or her death or remarriage subject to the 
lump sum provisions of 5 U.S.C. 8135.
    (c) To the surviving spouse, if there is a child, the compensation 
payable under paragraph (b) of this section, and in addition thereto 10 
percent of the monthly wage for each child, not to exceed a total of 50 
percent of the monthly pay for such surviving spouse and children 
subject to the lump sum provisions of 5 U.S.C. 8135. If a child has a 
guardian other than the surviving spouse, the compensation payable on 
account of such child shall be paid to such guardian. The compensation 
entitlement of any child shall cease when he or she dies, marries or 
reaches the age of 18 years, or if over such age and incapable of self-
support, becomes capable of self-support.
    (d) To the children, if there is no surviving spouse, 25 percent of 
the monthly pay for one child and 10 percent thereof for each 
additional child, not to exceed a total of 50 percent of the monthly 
pay thereof, divided among such children share and share alike subject 
to the lump sum provisions of 5 U.S.C. 8135. The compensation 
entitlement of each child shall cease when he or she dies, marries or 
reaches the age of 18, or if over such age and incapable of self-
support, becomes capable of self-support. The compensation of a child 
under legal age shall be paid to its guardian, if there is one, 
otherwise to the person having the custody or care of such child, for 
such child, as the Director in his or her discretion shall determine.
    (e) To the parents, if one is wholly dependent for support upon the 
deceased employee at the time of his or her death and the other is not 
dependent to any extent, 20 percent of the monthly pay; if both are 
wholly dependent, 10 percent thereof to each; if one is or both are 
partly dependent, a proportionate amount in the discretion of the 
Director. The compensation to a parent or parents in the percentages 
specified shall be paid if there is no surviving spouse or child, but 
if there is a surviving spouse or child, there shall be paid so much of 
such percentages for a parent or parents as, when added to the total of 
the percentages of the surviving spouse and children, will not exceed a 
total of 50 percent of the monthly pay. These payments are subject to 
the lump sum provision of 5 U.S.C. 8135.
    (f) To the brothers, sisters, grandparents and grandchildren, if 
one is wholly dependent upon the deceased employee for support at the 
time of his or her death, 20 percent of the monthly pay to such 
dependent; if more than one are wholly dependent, 30 percent of such 
pay, divided among such dependents share and share alike; if there is 
no one of them wholly dependent, but one or more are partly dependent, 
10 percent of such pay divided among such dependents share and share 
alike. The compensation to

[[Page 49652]]

such beneficiaries shall be paid if there is no surviving spouse, child 
or dependent parent. If there is a surviving spouse, child or dependent 
parent, there shall be paid so much of the above percentages as, when 
added to the total of the percentages payable to the surviving spouse, 
children and dependent parents, will not exceed a total of 50 percent 
of such pay. These payments are subject to the lump sum provision of 5 
U.S.C. 8135.
    (g) The compensation entitlement of each beneficiary under 
paragraphs (e) and (f) of this section shall be paid until he or she, 
if a parent or grandparent, dies, marries or ceases to be dependent, 
or, if a brother, sister or grandchild, dies, marries or reaches the 
age of 18 years, or if over such age and incapable of self-support, 
becomes capable of self-support. The compensation of a brother, sister 
or grandchild under legal age shall be paid to his or her guardian, if 
there is one, otherwise to the person having the custody or care of 
such person, for such person, as the Director in his or her discretion 
shall determine.
    (h) Upon the cessation of any person's compensation for death under 
this subpart, the compensation of any remaining person entitled to 
continuing compensation in the same case shall remain the same so that 
the continuing compensation shall be at the same rate each person 
previously received.
    (i) In cases where there are two or more classes of persons 
entitled to compensation for death under this subpart, and the 
apportionment of such compensation as provided in this section would 
result in injustice, the Director may in his or her discretion modify 
the apportionments to meet the requirements of the case.
    (j) Compensation for death shall be paid where practicable in a 
lump sum pursuant to section 8135.
    (k) In the event a beneficiary eligible for death benefits covered 
under subpart B can demonstrate that the amount payable under the 
special schedule would result in a payment that would be demonstrably 
less than the amount payable under the law of his home country, the 
Director retains the discretion to pay that amount of compensation 
under 5 U.S.C. 8137(a)(2)(A), not to exceed the amount payable under 
FECA. To request benefits under this paragraph, the beneficiary must 
submit the following:
    (1) Translated copies of the applicable local statute as well as 
any regulations, policies and procedures the beneficiary asserts are 
applicable; and
    (2) A translated copy of an opinion rendered by an attorney 
licensed in that jurisdiction or an advisory opinion from a court or 
administrative tribunal that explains the benefits payable to the 
beneficiary.
    (l) A FECA death gratuity of $65,000 may be payable for the death 
of a non-citizen non-resident employee should the death be a result of 
injury incurred in connection with service with an Armed Force in a 
contingency operation as set forth in subpart J of Part 10.

Subpart C--Extensions of the Special Schedule of Compensation


Sec.  25.200  How is the Special Schedule applied for employees in the 
Republic of the Philippines?

    (a) Modified special schedule of compensation. Except for injury or 
death of direct-hire employees of the U.S. Military Forces covered by 
the Philippine Medical Care Program and the Employees' Compensation 
Program pursuant to the agreement signed by the United States and the 
Republic of the Philippines on March 10, 1982 who are also members of 
the Philippine Social Security System, the special schedule of 
compensation established in subpart B of this part shall apply, with 
the modifications or additions specified in paragraphs (b) through (k) 
of this section, in the Republic of the Philippines, to injury or death 
occurring on or after July 1, 1968, with the following limitations:
    (1) Temporary disability. Benefits for payments accruing on and 
after July 1, 1969, for injuries causing temporary disability and which 
occurred on and after July 1, 1968, shall be payable at the rates in 
the special schedule as modified in this section.
    (2) Permanent disability and death. Benefits for injuries occurring 
on and after July 1, 1968, which cause permanent disability or death, 
shall be payable at the rates specified in the special schedule as 
modified in this section for all awards not paid in full before July 1, 
1969, and any award paid in full prior to July 1, 1969: Provided, that 
application for adjustment is made, and the adjustment will result in 
additional benefits of at least $10. In the case of injuries or death 
occurring on or after December 8, 1941 and prior to July 1, 1968, the 
special schedule as modified in this section may be applied to 
prospective awards for permanent disability or death, provided that the 
monthly and aggregate maximum provisions in effect at the time of 
injury or death shall prevail. These maxima are $50 and $4,000, 
respectively.
    (b) Death benefits. 400 weeks' compensation at two-thirds of the 
weekly wage rate, shared equally by the eligible survivors in the same 
class.
    (c) Death beneficiaries. Benefits are payable to the survivors in 
the following order of priority (all beneficiaries in the highest 
applicable classes are entitled to share equally):
    (1) Surviving spouse and unmarried children under 18, or over 18 
and totally incapable of self-support.
    (2) Dependent parents.
    (3) Dependent grandparents.
    (4) Dependent grandchildren, brothers and sisters who are unmarried 
and under 18, or over 18 and totally incapable of self-support.
    (d) Burial allowance. 14 weeks' wages or $400, whichever is less, 
payable to the eligible survivor(s), regardless of the actual expense. 
If there is no eligible survivor, actual burial expenses may be paid or 
reimbursed, in an amount not to exceed what would be paid to an 
eligible survivor.
    (e) Permanent total disability. 400 weeks' compensation at two-
thirds of the weekly wage rate.
    (f) Permanent partial disability. Where applicable, the 
compensation provided in Sec.  25.100(c)(1) through (19) subject to an 
aggregate limitation of 400 weeks' compensation. In all other cases, 
provided for permanent total disability that proportion of the 
compensation (paragraph (e) of this section) which is equivalent to the 
degree or percentage of physical impairment caused by the disability.
    (g) Temporary partial disability. Two-thirds of the weekly loss of 
wage-earning capacity.
    (h) Compensation period for temporary disability. Compensation for 
temporary disability is payable for a maximum period of 80 weeks.
    (i) Maximum compensation. The total aggregate compensation payable 
in any case, for injury or death or both, shall not exceed $8,000, 
exclusive of medical costs and burial allowance. The weekly rate of 
compensation for disability or death shall not exceed $35.
    (j) Method of payment. Only compensation for temporary disability 
shall be payable periodically. Compensation for permanent disability 
and death shall be payable in full at the time the extent of 
entitlement is established.
    (k) Exceptions. The Director in his or her discretion may make 
exceptions to the regulations in this section by:
    (1) Reapportioning death benefits, for the sake of equity.
    (2) Excluding from consideration potential death beneficiaries who 
are not available to receive payment.
    (3) Paying compensation for permanent disability or death on a 
periodic basis, where this method of

[[Page 49653]]

payment is considered to be in the best interest of the beneficiary.


Sec.  25.201  How is the Special Schedule applied for employees in 
Australia?

    (a) The special schedule of compensation established by subpart B 
of this part shall apply in Australia with the modifications or 
additions specified in paragraph (b) of this section, as of December 8, 
1941, in all cases of injury (or death from injury) which occurred 
between December 8, 1941 and December 31, 1961, inclusive, and shall be 
applied retrospectively in all such cases of injury (or death from 
injury). Compensation in all such cases pending as of July 15, 1946, 
shall be readjusted accordingly, with credit taken in the amount of 
compensation paid prior to such date. Refund of compensation shall not 
be required if the amount of compensation paid in any such case, 
otherwise than through fraud, misrepresentation or mistake, and prior 
to July 15, 1946, exceeds the amount provided for under this paragraph, 
and such case shall be deemed compromised and paid under 5 U.S.C. 8137.
    (b) The total aggregate compensation payable in any case under 
paragraph (a) of this section, for injury or death or both, shall not 
exceed the sum of $4,000, exclusive of medical costs. The maximum 
monthly rate of compensation in any such case shall not exceed the sum 
of $50.
    (c) The benefit amounts payable under the provisions of the 
Commonwealth Employees' Compensation Act of 1930-1964, Australia, shall 
apply as of January 1, 1962, in Australia, as the exclusive measure of 
compensation in cases of injury (or death from injury) according on and 
after January 1, 1962, and shall be applied retrospectively in all such 
cases, occurring on and after such date: Provided, that the 
compensation payable under the provisions of this paragraph shall in no 
event exceed that payable under the FECA.


Sec.  25.202  How is the Special Schedule applied for Japanese seamen?

    (a) General. The special schedule of compensation established by 
subpart B of this part shall apply as of November 1, 1971, with the 
modifications or additions specified in paragraphs (b) through (i) of 
this section, to injuries sustained outside the continental United 
States or Canada by direct-hire Japanese seamen who are neither 
citizens nor residents of the United States or Canada and who are 
employed by the Military Sealift Command in Japan.
    (b) Temporary total disability. Weekly compensation shall be paid 
at 75 percent of the weekly wage rate.
    (c) Temporary partial disability. Weekly compensation shall be paid 
at 75 percent of the weekly loss of wage-earning capacity.
    (d) Permanent total disability. Compensation shall be paid in a 
lump sum equivalent to 360 weeks' wages.
    (e) Permanent partial disability. (1) The provisions of Sec.  
25.101 of this part shall apply to the types of permanent partial 
disability listed in paragraphs (d)(1) through (13) and (d)(24) through 
(29) of that section: Provided that weekly compensation shall be paid 
at 75 percent of the weekly wage rate and that the number of weeks 
allowed for specified losses shall be changed as follows:
    (i) Arm lost: 312 weeks.
    (ii) Leg lost: 288 weeks.
    (iii) Hand lost: 244 weeks.
    (iv) Foot lost: 205 weeks.
    (v) Eye lost: 160 weeks.
    (vi) Thumb lost: 75 weeks.
    (vii) First finger lost: 46 weeks.
    (viii) Second finger lost: 30 weeks.
    (ix) Third finger lost: 25 weeks.
    (x) Fourth finger lost: 15 weeks.
    (xi) Great toe lost: 38 weeks.
    (xii) Toe, other than great toe lost: 16 weeks.
    (2) In all other cases, that proportion of the compensation 
provided for permanent total disability in paragraph (d) of this 
section which is equivalent to the degree or percentage of physical 
impairment caused by the injury.
    (f) Death. If there are two or more eligible survivors, 
compensation equivalent to 360 weeks' wages shall be paid to the 
survivors, share and share alike. If there is only one eligible 
survivor, compensation equivalent to 300 weeks' wages shall be paid. 
The following survivors are eligible for death benefits:
    (1) Spouse who lived with or was dependent upon the employee.
    (2) Unmarried children under 21 who lived with or were dependent 
upon the employee.
    (3) Adult children who were dependent upon the employee by reason 
of physical or mental disability.
    (4) Dependent parents, grandparents and grandchildren.
    (g) Burial allowance. $1,000 payable to the eligible survivor(s), 
regardless of actual expenses. If there are no eligible survivors, 
actual expenses may be paid or reimbursed, up to $1,000.
    (h) Method of payment. Only compensation for temporary disability 
shall be payable periodically, as entitlement accrues. Compensation for 
permanent disability and death shall be payable in a lump sum.
    (i) Maxima. In all cases, the maximum weekly benefit shall be $130. 
Also, except in cases of permanent total disability and death, the 
aggregate maximum compensation payable for any injury shall be $51,000. 
This amount will be adjusted annually on March 1 in accordance with the 
percentage amount determined by the cost of living adjustment under 5 
U.S.C. 8146a.
    (j) Prior injury. In cases where injury or death occurred prior to 
November 1, 1971, benefits will be paid in accordance with regulations 
promulgated, contained in 20 CFR parts 1-399, edition revised as of 
January 1, 1971.


Sec.  25.203  How is the Special Schedule applied to non-resident 
aliens in the Territory of Guam?

    The special schedule of compensation established by subpart B of 
this part shall apply to an injury or death occurring on or after [DATE 
60 DAYS FROM DATE OF PUBLICATION OF FINAL RULE] in the Territory of 
Guam to non-resident alien employees recruited in foreign countries for 
employment by the military departments in the Territory of Guam. This 
schedule shall not apply to any employee who becomes a bona fide 
permanent resident as such claims will be decided in accordance with 
Sec.  25.5.

    Signed at Washington, DC, this 28th of July 2010.
Shelby Hallmark,
Director, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs.
[FR Doc. 2010-18965 Filed 8-12-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-CH-P