Changes in FECA
The Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA) has undergone several changes throughout its history, with the most notable ones occurring in:
- Increased compensation: This reform allowed injured federal workers to receive their full salary (minus a small amount) while on leave due to a work-related injury or illness. This significantly improved benefits compared to the previous system, which only provided a portion of lost wages.
- Presumption of work-relatedness: For certain diseases and injuries, it became easier for federal workers to claim compensation by making it easier to prove they were work-related, even if the link wasn’t clear-cut. This change benefited a wider range of employees.
- Establishment of the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP): This dedicated agency within the Department of Labor assumed responsibility for administering FECA, streamlining the claims process and ensuring consistent application of the law.
- Increased compensation for permanent disability: The maximum benefit was adjusted to be a greater percentage of the employee’s average earnings, providing more financial support for those with lasting disabilities.
- Enhanced medical benefits: The reforms expanded coverage for medical treatment and rehabilitation services for injured federal workers, ensuring they have access to necessary care regardless of cost.
- Survivor benefits: Increased compensation for surviving spouses and dependent children of federal workers killed on the job, providing greater financial security in the event of tragedy.
These are just some of the major changes to FECA. Additionally, various amendments and interpretations over the years have clarified specific aspects of the law and addressed emerging issues. For example, recent updates have addressed coverage for COVID-19 and outlined OWCP procedures for electronic filing of OWCP claims.
To stay updated on the latest changes and access detailed information about FECA, you can refer to the following resources:
Remember, FECA is a complex law with nuances and specific details. If you have questions about your eligibility or benefits under the Act, it’s always best to consult with an attorney or legal professional specializing in federal employee compensation.