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Cost of Workers Comp
~ Every DAY the Dept. of Defense spends almost 2 million dollars on workers comp
~ 80% of this amount goes to "old cases" where the injured employee was never brought back to work.
What can a supervisor do ?
2904 - FECA - Federal Employees' Compensation Program
1. Prevent injuries
~ Keep your work area as safe as possible. Most workplace injuries are completely avoidable.
~ Enforce all safety rules.
~ Document even verbal warnings about safety violations.
~ Remember people pay attention to the example you set.
~ Be prepared with hard copy injury forms (CA-1/CA-2/CA-16) and learn to input into EDI.
What to do when injury occurs?
~ Give immediate, sympathetic caring.
~ Ensure employee seeks medical treatment, such as local clinic, emergency room or private doctor. You cannot require injured worker to use military clinic.
~ Never prevent an employee from getting medical attention even if you don't think it is serious.
~ Furnish hard copy CA-16 if employee needs emergency room or private MD care. The CA-16 guarantees Army will pay. By law, you must furnish these forms. Input CA-1/CA-2 into EDI.
Follow-up on an injury
~ Visit place where injury occurred. Make notes of what happened.
~ Speak with witnesses, what they saw & heard. Write down what they say.
~ Speak with Safety Officer about what can be done to ensure this injury never happens again(example, pull up ragged carpet if carpet caused employee to trip)
Input claim into EDI
~ If you need help on EDI input, consult your ICPA (Injury Compensation Program Administrator) in the CPAC office.
~ Claim should be loaded within 48 hours.
~ We are tracked on how quickly claims get into EDI.
~ Don't hold claim waiting for documentation.
~ If you suspect fraud, indicate in EDI that claim will be challenged. Work with the ICPA to write the challenge.
Follow up with employee
~ Phone employee at home
- Ask what limitations doctor placed and why
- When will employee be able to return
- Emphasize light duty, modification of duties
- Emphasize sympathetic caring
- If employee must be off more than a week, employee every week for status.
- Remind employee he/she must furnish a medical statement ASAP supporting time off work.
What if you think this injury is not "legit" ?
Some Red Flags to be aware of:
~ Unexplained time delay in reporting injury or getting medical care.
~ There are no witnesses even though injury happened in area where it should have been observed.
>~Witness frequently serves as witness for other injuries.
~ Disciplinary action, downsizing, transfer facing employee.
~ Injury reported immediately after weekend or holiday.
~ Employee changes account of how injury happened.
If you spot a "Red Flag"
~ You must input CA-1/CA-2 & give copy of CA-16 to ICPA but communicate to ICPA questions you have about injury being Army's fault.
~ Write down all information you have and give to ICPA. A challenge must be mailed to OWCP immediately on all suspicious claims.
~ Army has only ONE opportunity to challenge a suspicious claim, and that is when the claim is first made.
Challenge a Suspicious Claim
~ Challenge must be based on facts;
being a poor performer is not adequate reason.
~ Your investigation & notes are crucial.
~ There is no format or form for a challenge,
- It is simply a free type write-up of the facts, signed by you or by the ICPA. Include supporting information, such as signed witness statement, police report, or map showing location of accident if it did not occur at the installation.
- The suspicious claim you don't challenge may become Army's million-dollar claim in the future.
Timecards for injured employee
~ Day of injury: mark hours missed as LU.
~ Day after injury, "COP" (Continuation of Payment) begins. COP does not deduct from employee's leave balances.
~ Timecards are marked LT while on COP for the number of days doctor says employee must be off. Employee must give you doctor's written statement, with number of days needed to be off. Be sure ICPA gets a copy.
What if COP is used up ?
~ COP is capped at 45 calendar days, which includes weekends & holidays.
~ If injury recovery lasts longer than 45 days, employee can use own leave and pay continues as usual. Employee can also use LWOP and apply for "compensation" on a CA-7 form. This means he gets 75% of pay with dependents or 66 2/3% if no dependents. "Compensation" is non-taxable. Be certain which choice employee wants to make. Confer with ICPA.
What if employee returns part-time?
~ Employee can either use own leave for hours not worked - or can chose LWOP for those hours and claim "compensation" on a CA-7 form. Work closely with ICPA to ensure all steps are followed correctly.
What if employee can't do full duties ?
~ Sometimes doctor places restrictions on what returning employee can do.
~ We must abide by these restrictions !! Example, if doctor says cannot lift more than 10 pounds, do not assign any heavier work than that.
~ If restrictions are permanent, job may need be assigned to another employee and modified job created for returning employee.
~ If restrictions appear unreasonable, work with ICPA to request OWCP get 2nd medical opinion.
Supervisor's Final responsibility
~ Get injured employee back to work.
~ If an employee is "out on injury comp" Army pays him. If we don't get employee back, Army pays him for his entire life !!
~ If employee returns to work, eventually he retires like the rest of us.
~ If employee returns, he is subject to same personnel regulations as all other employees.
What if injured employee can't return ?
~ If employee is never able to meet physical requirements of old job, work with staffing & ICPA to create new job within employee's capabilities.
~ Remember Army is paying employee whether he works or stays home.
Why is it so important to get injured employees back ?
~ Remember 80% of DOD's workers comp $ are spent on compensation for employee who are out for years.
~ If Army doesn't get workers back, Army still pays them.
~ Most injured employees can do "something" so find out what employee can do & build a position around that.
DOD's Pipeline Program
~ "Pipeline" provides billet & pays salary for first 365 days for returning employees who have been out for 90 days or more.
~ DOD transfers money to your activity on a MIPR.
~ Designed to assist installations in returning employees to work.
Recap of supervisor's role
1. Prevent injuries.
2. Handle injuries correctly if they occur.
3. Investigate all facts of injuries and challenge all suspect claims.
4. Input claim into EDI or give CA-1/CA-2 to ICPA if you have no computer access. Fax or hand-carry.
5. ICPA is your partner in all aspects of Workers Comp.
6. Getting injured employees back to Army's workforce is a win-win for everyone.
Where to get more information:
Contact your ICPA (Injury Compensation Program Administrator, located in the CPAC office)
Search CPOL under OWCP & FECA
DOD instruction 1400.25 M, subchapter 810
Dept. of Labor's web site: