COVID-19 and Federal Workers Compensation
Earlier this year, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, made it easier for federal employees diagnosed with COVID-19 to file and receive benefits under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA). Federal employees whose duties required contact with patients, members of the pubic, co-workers or included a risk of COVID-19 exposure prior to the diagnosis, is deemed to have an injury that was proximately caused by employment.
To file a claim for contracting COVID-19, federal employees should complete the CA-1 form, normally used for traumatic injuries, through the Department of Labor’s Employees’ Compensation Operation and Management Portal (ECOMP) system.
On September 9, 2021, President Biden issued Executive Order 14043 requiring all federal employees in the Executive Branch (excluding the Government Accountability Office) to become vaccinated against COVID-19. The Safer Federal Workforce Taskforce issued a guidance stating that federal employees had until November 22, 2021, to become vaccinated. Because vaccination is now mandatory for executive branch employees, any adverse reaction or injury caused by the COVID-19 vaccine is covered under FECA. For federal employees injured by a COVID-19 vaccine prior to September 9, 2021, any adverse reaction or injury would only be covered if the vaccine was administered by or sponsored by the employee’s agency.
Federal employees who need to file a claim regarding an adverse reaction or injury due to the COVID-19 vaccination should also complete the CA-1 form via the ECOMP system. If for any reason the employee has difficulty using ECOMP, the employee should contact their agency’s employee designated to handle Office of Workers Compensation Programs (OWCP) claims for assistance.
If you are a federal employee whose claim for COVID-19 or for COVID-19 vaccine-related adverse reaction or injury has been denied, please contact my office online or via telephone at (301) 869-8774 to schedule a consultation.
This blog is not intended to provide legal advice or representation, but rather to provide very general information regarding a variety of subject areas. The viewing of the information contained on this blog does not create or establish an attorney-client relationship. Further, this information should not be relied upon without first consulting with an attorney regarding your specific situation.