Injury Compensation Program Administrator (ICPA) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. If a claimant gets injured today, receives medical treatment and returns to work the next day in a light duty status, can Pipeline funds be used?
A. No. Pipeline funding is not appropriate for claims that have not been adjudicated.
Q. How are funds received by the employing agency?
A. A Military Interdepartmental Purchase Request (MIPR) or DD Form 448 is faxed to the employing agency’s Finance Department. The employing agency must accept the MIPR by signing and faxing DD Form 448-2 to the Defense Civilian Personnel Advisory Service (DCPAS) Business Management Division (BMD).
Q. What happens if my agency cannot place the employee after the one year? Can an agency get an extension?
A. Employees must be placed in “permanent” positions when returned to duty using Pipeline funds. Normal attrition allows installations to use vacated Full Time Equivalent (FTE) positions and associated funds to cover expenses for Pipeline employees after Pipeline funding is expended.
Q. Does Pipeline money reimburse the agency for the employee’s training costs?
A. No. Pipeline provides funding for the cost of salary and benefits.
Q. Can Pipeline money be extended beyond one year in some circumstances?
A. DCPAS will consider extending funding beyond one year on a case-by-case basis.
Q. Can agencies ask for Pipeline funding during the Continuation of Pay (COP) period if they have a light-duty job offer?
A. No. Employees returning to their date of injury positions do not require agencies to create new positions that require an FTE or funding.
Q. Does the offered job have to be full-time in order to request Pipeline money?
A. No. Jobs can be offered for 4 or 6 hour days.
Q. Can a Temporary employee be offered a Pipeline position?
A. Yes. If an employee was on a Temporary Appointment, you may offer him/her a Temporary Appointment. This appointment should be at least 90 days.
Q. If an employee's light-duty job is eliminated due to downsizing, what is the effect on compensation?
A. The Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP) will determine the employee's wage-earning capacity based on his or her actual earnings in the light-duty position if this determination is appropriate on the basis that such earnings fairly and reasonably represent the employee's wage-earning capacity.
Q. Can Pipeline be used for employees that have not been removed from the agency's roles?
A. Yes. Pipeline funds can be requested to return employees to duty that have been in a LWOP status for an extended period of time (90 days which can include 45 days of COP) or removed from agency rolls. Pipeline funds may also be requested by agencies that have been accommodating an employee in a light duty status and can no longer do so if/when the employing agency is prepared to make a permanent light duty job offer.
Q. How are funds computed for salary and benefits?
A. The amount of Pipeline funding provided to the employing agency is equal to the employee's salary plus 38% to cover the employing agency's approximate cost of benefits.
Q. How does the Pipeline Program define a light duty assignment for Pipeline candidates?
A. A permanent light-duty position means a classified position to which the injured employee has been permanently assigned that conforms to the established physical limitations of the injured employee and for which the employer has already prepared a written position description such that the position constitutes regular Federal employment.
Q. How do we handle the health insurance and life insurance for the injured worker, after they return back to work with our agency?
A. OWCP will transfer enrollment back to the employing office by letter, transmitting the health benefits documentation and giving the date compensation ended. If the employee is eligible for continued coverage, the employing office should transfer enrollment to the agency by completing a Notice of Change in Health Benefits Enrollment (SF 2810). The effective date of the transfer is the day after compensation terminated.
If the employee is not eligible for continued coverage, the employing office should complete an SF 2810 terminating enrollment effective the date compensation ended. A copy of OWCP's letter transferring the enrollment back to the employing office should be attached to the carrier copy of the SF 2810.
When an employee returns to duty on a part-time basis and compensation payments continue, OWCP will keep the Health Benefit enrollment and continue to withhold deductions and make contributions. Life insurance: When an employee has been receiving compensation and returns to duty, the employing office must complete OWCP Form CA-7 to notify OWCP. In the remarks section the agency should show the beginning and ending dates of the pay period in which the employee returned to duty. OWCP will certify the life insurance status back to the employing office on the CA-7. Until you receive the CA-7 from OWCP, you should ask about the employee's insurance status the same as you would for an employee transferring from another agency.
If an employee was eligible to continue life insurance as a claimant; life insurance should be restored on the day the employee enters into a pay and duty status unless the employee returns to a position that is excluded from FEGLI coverage by law or regulation. To be considered eligible to continue coverage as an OWCP claimant, the employee must have carried FEGLI for the 5 years of service immediately before the beginning date of compensation or, if less than 5 years, for the full period(s) of service during which the employee was eligible to be insured.
Q. Will Pipeline continue if the injured worker is away from work on sick leave, or annual leave? And, if so, for how long?
A. Yes. Pipeline funds are not recouped because an employee is on sick or annual leave. Pipeline funds may be stopped if an employee experiences long periods of LWOP in excess of 30 days and the prognosis is such that the employee will be out for an indeterminate amount of time.
Department of Defense
Defense Civilian Personnel Advisory Service
HR Operational Programs & Advisory Services
Benefits and Worklife Division
Injury Compensation & Unemployment Compensation Branch
4800 Mark Center Drive, Suite 05G21
Alexandria, VA 22350-1100
Commercial Phone: (571) 372-1663
FAX: (571) 372-1662
DSN Phone: 372-1663
DSN FAX: 372-1662
E-mail: ICUC Questions
E-mail: Pipeline Coordinator