What To Do when Injured at Work

 In Case of Injury, obtain first aid or medical treatment even if the injury is minor. While many minor injuries heal without treatment, a few result in serious prolonged disability that could have been prevented had the employee received treatment when the injury occurred.

For traumatic injuries, ask your employer to authorize medical treatment on Form CA-16 BEFORE you go to the doctor. Take Form CA-16 when you go to the doctor, along with Form OWCP-1500, which the doctor must use to submit bills to OWCP. Your employer may authorize medical treatment for occupational disease ONLY if OWCP gives prior approval.

Submit bills promptly, as bills for medical treatment may not be paid if submitted to OWCP more than one year after the calendar year in which you received the treatment or in which the condition was accepted as compensable.

 Report Every Injury to your supervisor. Submit written notice of your injury on Form CA-1 if you sustained a traumatic injury, or Form CA-2 if the injury was an occupational disease or illness. (Forms CA-1 and CA-2 may be obtained from your employing agency or OWCP.)

Form CA-1 must be filed within 30 days of the date of injury to receive continuation of pay (COP) for a disabling traumatic injury. COP may be terminated if medical evidence of the injury- related disability is not submitted to your employer within 10 workdays. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ENSURING THAT SUCH MEDICAL EVIDENCE IS SUBMITTED TO YOUR EMPLOYING AGENCY. Form CA-2 should also be filed within 30 days. Any claim which is not submitted within 3 years will be barred by statutory time limitations unless the immediate superior had actual knowledge of the injury or death within 30 days of occurrence.

 Establish the Essential Elements of Your Claim. You must provide the evidence needed to show that you filed for benefits in a timely manner; that you are a civil employee; that the injury occurred as reported and in the performance of duty; and that your condition or disability is related to the injury or factors of your Federal employment. OWCP will assist you in meeting this responsibility, which is called burden of proof, by requesting evidence needed to fulfill the requirements of your claim.

 File a Claim for Compensation. File Form CA-7, Claim for Compensation on Account of Traumatic Injury or Occupational Disease, if you cannot return to work because of your injury and you are losing (or expect to lose) pay for more than three days. Give the form to your supervisor seven to ten days before the end of the COP period, if you received COP. If you are not entitled to COP, submit Form CA-7 when you enter or expect to enter a leave without pay status. All wage loss claims must be supported by medical evidence of injury-related disability for the period of the claim.

If you continue to lose pay after the dates claimed on Form CA-7, submit Forms CA-8 Claim for Continuing Compensation on Account of Disability, through your employer to claim additional compensation until you return to work or until OWCP advises they are no longer needed. You are not required to use your sick or annual leave before you claim compensation.

If you choose to use your leave, you may, with your agency's concurrence, request leave buy-back by submitting Form CA-7 to OWCP through your employing agency. Any compensation payment is to be used to partially reimburse your agency for the leave pay. You must also arrange to pay your agency the difference between the leave pay based on your full salary and the compensation payment that was paid at 2/3 or 3/4 of your salary. Your agency will then recredit the leave to your leave record.

 Return To Work As Soon As your Doctor Allows You To Do So. If your employing agency gives you a written description of a light duty job, you must provide a copy to your doctor and ask if and when you can perform the duties described. If your agency is willing to provide light work, you must ask your doctor to specify your work restrictions. In either case, you must advise your agency immediately of your doctor's instructions concerning return to work, and arrange for your agency to receive written verification of this information. COP or compensation may be terminated if you refuse work which is within your medical restrictions without good cause, or if you do not respond within specified time limits to a job offer from your agency.

In appropriate cases, OWCP provides assistance in arranging for reassignment to lighter duties in cooperation with the employing agency. In addition, injured employees have certain other specified rights under the jurisdiction of the Office of Personnel Management, such as reemployment rights if the disability has been overcome within one year.

 Tell Your Family about the benefits they are entitled to in the event of your death. For assistance in filing a claim they may contact your employing agency's personnel office or OWCP.