Supervisor Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. What is workers' compensation and who is entitled to it?
A. Workers' compensation is a insurance program that provides for the payment of medical expenses and wage loss replacement for people who are injured while on the job. It is a no-fault system and any federal employee who is injured in the "course and scope" of their employment is entitled to file a claim.
Q. Who pays for workers' compensation?
A. The FECA program is financed by the Employees' Compensation Fund, which consists of monies appropriated by Congress or contributed from operating revenues.
Q. What is the chargeback system?
A. The chargeback system is the mechanism by which the costs of compensation for work-related injuries and deaths are assigned to employing agencies annually at the end of the fiscal accounting period, which runs from July to June for chargeback purposes. Each year the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) furnishes each agency with a statement of payments made from the fund on account of injuries suffered by its employees. Agencies include these amounts in their budget requests to Congress.
Q. Can Pipeline funds be used to pay relocation expenses for injured employees returning to their former agency?
A. No. Employees who have been relocated may have their relocation expenses paid for by OWCP. All cost of relocation will be passed on to the employing agency’s chargeback listing.
Q. Why should I return to work an employee who cannot do his or her complete job?
A. Federal employees who have fully or partially recovered from an employment-related injury have certain job retention rights. An employee who recovers within one year of beginning compensation has mandatory restoration rights to his or her old position or its equivalent, regardless of whether he or she is still on the agency rolls. If full recovery occurs after one year, or the employee is considered partially recovered, he or she is entitled to priority consideration provided that application is made within 30 days of the date compensation ceases.
Q. What happens if an employee refuses suitable employment that honors his or her medical restrictions?
A. Refusal with No Explanation. If the employee refuses the offer without explanation, OWCP will issue a formal decision and terminate benefits.
A. Refusal with Explanation. If the employee refuses the offer but provides reasons in support of the refusal, OWCP will evaluate them and determine whether reasonable cause has been shown. If reasonable cause is shown, OWCP will advise the employing agency and compensation will continue at a level reflecting the degree of disability while further attempts at placement are made. If not, the employee will be so advised and allowed an additional 15 days to return to work. If the employee still does not return to work, a formal decision will be issued and benefits will be terminated.
Q. Can an employee who was on a temporary appointment return to work using Pipeline funding?
A. Yes. An employee who was on a temporary appointment when injured may be returned to a temporary appointment only. Pipeline funding is disbursed for the period remaining on the initial temporary appointment.
Q. Do Pipeline funds cover overtime pay?
A. No. Pipeline funding does not include overtime, performance awards, i.e. (time-off, special act, etc.) or bonuses.
Q. Can Pipeline funds be used for returning part-time employees?
A. Yes. Two employees capable of part-time work may share one FTE. One part-time employee may also fill one FTE for up to two years.
Q. Can returning employees be placed in any light duty position?
A. No. Employees returning to work using Pipeline funds must return to classified positions. A classified position description should be included with all Pipeline funding requests.
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