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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of April 21, 2014

Title 20: Employees' Benefits
PART 10—CLAIMS FOR COMPENSATION UNDER THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION ACT, AS AMENDED


Subpart H—Special Provisions


Contents

Representation

§10.700   May a claimant designate a representative?
§10.701   Who may serve as a representative?
§10.702   How are fees for services paid?
§10.703   How are fee applications approved?
§10.704   What penalties apply to representatives who collect a fee without approval?

Third Party Liability

§10.705   When must an employee or other FECA beneficiary take action against a third party?
§10.706   How will a beneficiary know if OWCP or SOL has determined that action against a third party is required?
§10.707   What must a FECA beneficiary who is required to take action against a third party do to satisfy the requirement that the claim be “prosecuted”?
§10.708   Can a FECA beneficiary who refuses to comply with a request to assign a claim to the United States or to prosecute the claim in his or her own name be penalized?
§10.709   What happens if a beneficiary directed by OWCP or SOL to take action against a third party does not believe that a claim can be successfully prosecuted at a reasonable cost?
§10.710   Under what circumstances must a recovery of money or other property in connection with an injury or death for which benefits are payable under the FECA be reported to OWCP or SOL?
§10.711   How is the amount of the recovery of the FECA beneficiary determined?
§10.712   How much of any settlement or judgment must be paid to the United States?
§10.713   How is a structured settlement (that is, a settlement providing for receipt of funds over a specified period of time) treated for purposes of reporting the gross recovery?
§10.714   What amounts are included in the refundable disbursements?
§10.715   Is a beneficiary required to pay interest on the amount of the refund due to the United States?
§10.716   If the required refund is not paid within 30 days of the request for repayment, can it be collected from payments due under the FECA?
§10.717   Is a settlement or judgment received as a result of allegations of medical malpractice in treating an injury covered by the FECA a gross recovery that must be reported to OWCP or SOL?
§10.718   Are payments to a beneficiary as a result of an insurance policy which the beneficiary has purchased a gross recovery that must be reported to OWCP or SOL?
§10.719   If a settlement or judgment is received for more than one wound or medical condition, can the refundable disbursements paid on a single FECA claim be attributed to different conditions for purposes of calculating the refund or credit owed to the United States?

Federal Grand and Petit Jurors

§10.725   When is a Federal grand or petit juror covered under the FECA?
§10.726   When does a juror's entitlement to disability compensation begin?
§10.727   What is the pay rate of jurors for compensation purposes?

Peace Corps Volunteers

§10.730   What are the conditions of coverage for Peace Corps volunteers and volunteer leaders injured while serving outside the United States?
§10.731   What is the pay rate of Peace Corps volunteers and volunteer leaders for compensation purposes?

Non-Federal Law Enforcement Officers

§10.735   When is a non-Federal law enforcement officer (LEO) covered under the FECA?
§10.736   What are the time limits for filing a LEO claim?
§10.737   How is a LEO claim filed, and who can file a LEO claim?
§10.738   Under what circumstances are benefits payable in LEO claims?
§10.739   What kind of objective evidence of a potential Federal crime must exist for coverage to be extended?
§10.740   In what situations will OWCP automatically presume that a law enforcement officer is covered by the FECA?
§10.741   How are benefits calculated in LEO claims?

Representation

§10.700   May a claimant designate a representative?

(a) The claims process under the FECA is informal. Unlike many workers' compensation laws, the employer is not a party to the claim, and OWCP acts as an impartial evaluator of the evidence. Nevertheless, a claimant may appoint one individual to represent his or her interests, but the appointment must be in writing.

(b) There can be only one representative at any one time, so after one representative has been properly appointed, OWCP will not recognize another individual as representative until the claimant withdraws the authorization of the first individual. In addition, OWCP will recognize only certain types of individuals (see §10.701); however if the representative is an attorney, OWCP may communicate with any member of that attorney's recognized law firm.

(c) A properly appointed representative who is recognized by OWCP may make a request or give direction to OWCP regarding the claims process, including a hearing. This authority includes presenting or eliciting evidence, making arguments on facts or the law, and obtaining information from the case file, to the same extent as the claimant.

§10.701   Who may serve as a representative?

A claimant may authorize any individual to represent him or her in regard to a claim under the FECA, unless that individual's service as a representative would violate any applicable provision of law (such as 18 U.S.C. 205 and 208). A Federal employee may act as a representative only:

(a) On behalf of immediate family members, defined as a spouse, children, parents, and siblings of the representative, provided no fee or gratuity is charged; or

(b) While acting as a union representative, defined as any officially sanctioned union official, and no fee or gratuity is charged.

§10.702   How are fees for services paid?

(a) A representative may charge the claimant a fee and other costs associated with the representation before OWCP. The claimant is solely responsible for paying the fee and other charges. The claimant will not be reimbursed by OWCP, nor is OWCP in any way liable for the amount of the fee. Contingency fees are not allowed in any form.

(b) Administrative costs (mailing, copying, messenger services, travel and the like, but not including secretarial services, paralegal and other activities) need not be approved before the representative collects them. Before any fee for services can be collected, however, the fee must be approved by the Secretary.

§10.703   How are fee applications approved?

(a) Fee application. The representative must submit the fee application to OWCP for services rendered before OWCP. (Representative services before ECAB must be approved by ECAB under 20 CFR part 501.) The application submitted to OWCP shall contain the following:

(1) An itemized statement showing the representative's hourly rate, the number of hours worked and specifically identifying the work performed and a total amount charged for the representation (excluding administrative costs).

(2) A statement of agreement or disagreement with the amount charged, signed by the claimant. The statement must also acknowledge that the claimant is aware that he or she must pay the fees and that OWCP is not responsible for paying the fee or other costs.

(b) Approval where there is no dispute. Where a fee application that describes the services rendered in accordance with paragraph (a)(1) of this section is accompanied by a signed statement indicating the claimant's agreement with the fee as described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, the application is deemed approved except that no contingency fee arrangement may be considered deemed approved through this process.

(c) Disputed requests. (1) Where the claimant disagrees with the amount of the fee, as indicated in the statement accompanying the submittal, OWCP will evaluate the objection and decide whether or not to approve the request. OWCP will provide a copy of the request to the claimant and ask him or her to submit any further information in support of the objection within 15 days from the date the request is forwarded. After that period has passed, OWCP will evaluate the information received to determine whether the amount of the fee is substantially in excess of the value of services received by looking at the following factors:

(i) Usefulness of the representative's services;

(ii) The nature and complexity of the claim;

(iii) The actual time spent on development and presentation of the claim; and

(iv) Customary local charges for services for a representative of similar background and experience.

(2) Where the claimant disputes the representative's request and files an objection with OWCP, an appealable decision will be issued.

§10.704   What penalties apply to representatives who collect a fee without approval?

Representatives who collect a fee without proper approval from OWCP may be charged with a misdemeanor under 18 U.S.C. 292.

Third Party Liability

§10.705   When must an employee or other FECA beneficiary take action against a third party?

(a) If an injury or death for which benefits are payable under the FECA is caused, wholly or partially, by someone other than a Federal employee acting within the scope of his or her employment, the claimant can be required to take action against that third party.

(b) The Office of the Solicitor of Labor (SOL) is hereby delegated authority to administer the subrogation aspects of certain FECA claims for OWCP. Either OWCP or SOL can require a FECA beneficiary to assign his or her claim for damages to the United States or to prosecute the claim in his or her own name. All information regarding subrogation claims administered by SOL should be submitted to Chief, Subrogation Unit, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of the Solicitor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Room S4325, Washington, DC 20210.

§10.706   How will a beneficiary know if OWCP or SOL has determined that action against a third party is required?

When OWCP determines that an employee or other FECA beneficiary must take action against a third party, it will notify the employee or beneficiary in writing. If the case is transferred to SOL, a second notification may be issued.

§10.707   What must a FECA beneficiary who is required to take action against a third party do to satisfy the requirement that the claim be “prosecuted”?

At a minimum, a FECA beneficiary must do the following:

(a) Seek damages for the injury or death from the third party, either through an attorney or on his or her own behalf;

(b) Either initiate a lawsuit within the appropriate statute of limitations period or obtain a written release of this obligation from OWCP or SOL unless recovery is possible through a negotiated settlement prior to filing suit;

(c) Refuse to settle or dismiss the case for any amount less than the amount necessary to repay OWCP's refundable disbursements, as defined in §10.714, without receiving permission from OWCP or SOL;

(d) Provide periodic status updates and other relevant information in response to requests from OWCP or SOL;

(e) Submit detailed information about the amount recovered and the costs of the suit on a “Statement of Recovery” form approved by OMB;

(f) Submit information regarding the names of all plaintiffs to the suit or settlement and their relationship to the injured employee, if not the same as the FECA beneficiary;

(g) If any portion of the settlement or judgment was paid to more than one individual, advise whether it was indicated in the settlement or judgment the amount each individual is to receive, and if so, the percentage of the total award;

(h) Advise whether any portion of the settlement or judgment was paid in more than one capacity, such as a joint payment to a husband and wife for personal injury and loss of consortium or a payment to a spouse representing both loss of consortium and wrongful death; and

(i) Pay any required refund.

§10.708   Can a FECA beneficiary who refuses to comply with a request to assign a claim to the United States or to prosecute the claim in his or her own name be penalized?

When a FECA beneficiary refuses a request to either assign a claim or prosecute a claim in his or her own name, OWCP may determine that he or she has forfeited his or her right to all past or future compensation for the injury with respect to which the request is made. Alternatively, OWCP may also suspend the FECA beneficiary's compensation payments until he or she complies with the request.

§10.709   What happens if a beneficiary directed by OWCP or SOL to take action against a third party does not believe that a claim can be successfully prosecuted at a reasonable cost?

If a beneficiary consults an attorney and is informed that a suit for damages against a third party for the injury or death for which benefits are payable is unlikely to prevail or that the costs of such a suit are not justified by the potential recovery, he or she should request that OWCP or SOL release him or her from the obligation to proceed. This request should be in writing and provide evidence of the attorney's opinion. If OWCP or SOL agrees, the beneficiary will not be required to take further action against the third party.

§10.710   Under what circumstances must a recovery of money or other property in connection with an injury or death for which benefits are payable under the FECA be reported to OWCP or SOL?

Any person who has filed a FECA claim that has been accepted by OWCP (whether or not compensation has been paid), or who has received FECA benefits in connection with a claim filed by another, is required to notify OWCP or SOL of the receipt of money or other property as a result of a settlement or judgment in connection with the circumstances of that claim. This includes an injured employee, and in the case of a claim involving the death of an employee, a spouse, children or other dependents entitled to receive survivor's benefits. OWCP or SOL should be notified in writing within 30 days of the receipt of such money or other property or the acceptance of the FECA claim, whichever occurs later.

§10.711   How is the amount of the recovery of the FECA beneficiary determined?

(a) When a FECA beneficiary is entitled to receive money as a result of a judgment entered in a lawsuit or settlement of a lawsuit or any other settlement or recovery from a responsible third party, the entire amount of the award is reported as the gross recovery. To determine the amount of the recovery of the FECA beneficiary, deductions are made for the portion representing damage to real or personal property, the portion representing loss of consortium, the portion representing wrongful death and the portion representing a survival action. To make deductions for loss of consortium, wrongful death and survival action, it must be established that:

(1) These claims were asserted in the suit (or if there was no suit that these claims were included in the settlement or recovery); and

(2) That such claims are permissible under the state law where the action was brought.

(b) OWCP or SOL will determine the appropriate percentage of the total judgment or settlement that will be allocated for loss of consortium, wrongful death action and survival action. FECA beneficiaries may accept OWCP's or SOL's determination or demonstrate good cause in writing for a different allocation. Whether to accept a specific allocation is at the discretion of OWCP or SOL, even where it has been incorporated into the settlement agreement. OWCP or SOL will not determine the appropriate percentage to be allocated for loss of consortium, wrongful death action and survival action if a judge or jury specifies the percentage to be awarded of a contested verdict attributable to each of several plaintiffs; in such case, OWCP or SOL will accept that percentage allocation.

(c) The amount of the recovery of the FECA beneficiary will be determined as followed:

(1) If a settlement or judgment is paid to or for one individual, the recovery is the gross recovery less the portion representing damage to real or personal property. The portion representing damage to real or personal property must be established in writing and approved by OWCP or SOL.

(2) In any case involving an injury to an employee where a judgment or settlement is paid to or on behalf of more than one individual, the recovery is the gross recovery less the portion representing damage to real or personal property and less the portion representing loss of consortium. OWCP or SOL will allocate up to 25% for a spouse and up to 5% for each child not to exceed 15% for all children for loss of consortium.

(3) In any case involving the death of an employee, where both wrongful death and survival actions have been asserted, separate statements of recovery are completed for the deceased employee and the surviving FECA beneficiaries. For the deceased employee, the recovery is the gross recovery less the portion representing damage to real or personal property, less the portion representing loss of consortium, less the portion representing the wrongful death action. For the surviving spouse and children, the recovery is the gross recovery less the portion representing damage to real or personal property, less the portion representing loss of consortium, less the portion representing the survival action. OWCP or SOL will allocate the total judgment or settlement as follows:

(i) For loss of consortium, OWCP or SOL will allocate up to 15% for a spouse and up to 5% for each child not to exceed 10% for all children;

(ii) For the wrongful death action, OWCP or SOL will allocate 65% of the remainder after subtraction of the amounts attributed to loss of consortium;

(iii) For the survival action, OWCP or SOL will allocate 35% percent of the remainder after subtraction of the amounts attributed to loss of consortium.

(d) In any case involving an injury to an employee where a judgment or settlement is paid to or on behalf of more than one individual and in any case involving the death of an employee, court costs will be attributed using the same percentages as was used for loss of consortium, wrongful death action and survival action. Attorney fees will be determined using the same percentage that was used for the gross recovery. These calculations are used only for the purpose of determining the amount of the refund and if applicable the surplus.

§10.712   How much of any settlement or judgment must be paid to the United States?

The statute permits a FECA beneficiary to retain, as a minimum, one-fifth of the net amount of money or property remaining after a reasonable attorney's fee and the costs of litigation have been deducted from the third-party recovery. The United States shares in the attorney fees by allowing the beneficiary to retain, at the time of distribution, an amount equivalent to a reasonable attorney's fee proportionate to the refund due the United States. After the refund owed to the United States is calculated, the FECA beneficiary retains any surplus remaining, and this amount is credited, dollar for dollar, against future compensation including wage-loss compensation, schedule award benefits and medical benefits for the same injury, as defined in §10.719. OWCP will resume the payment of compensation only after the FECA beneficiary has been awarded compensation which exceeds the amount of the surplus.

(a) The refund to the United States is calculated as follows, using the Statement of Recovery form approved by OMB:

(1) Determine the amount of the recovery of the FECA beneficiary as set forth in §10.711 as follows:

(i) Set out the gross recovery which is the entire amount of the award;

(ii) Subtract the amount of award representing damage to real or personal property approved by OWCP or SOL (Subtotal A);

(iii) Multiply Subtotal A by the appropriate percentage in §10.711(c), or if it is a contested verdict by the percentage allocated by the judge or jury, and subtract this amount from Subtotal A (Subtotal B);

(iv) If both a wrongful death action and survival action have been asserted, multiply Subtotal B by 65% to determine the amount allocated to the wrongful death case and multiply Subtotal B by 35% to determine the amount allocated to the survival action, or if it is a contested verdict, by the percentage allocated by the judge or jury. Separate Statements of Recovery must be completed for each cause of action. For the wrongful death action use the result of Subtotal B times 65% for Subtotal C and for the survival action use the result of Subtotal B times 35% for Subtotal C. If both a wrongful death and survival have not been asserted the amount in Subtotal B is used for Subtotal C;

(v) Subtotal C is the amount of recovery of the FECA beneficiary;

(2) Subtract the amount of attorney's fees actually paid, but not more than the maximum amount of attorney's fees considered by OWCP or SOL to be reasonable, from Subtotal C. This is calculated by first determining the attorney fee percentage which is determined by dividing the gross recovery into the amount of attorney's fees actually paid, but the attorney's fee amount must not be more than the maximum amount of attorney's fees considered to be reasonable by OWCP or SOL and must be approved by OWCP or SOL. Subtotal C is multiplied by the fee percentage and this amount is subtracted from Subtotal C (Subtotal D);

(3) Subtract the costs of litigation, as allowed by OWCP or SOL from Subtotal D (Subtotal E). If loss of consortium and/or wrongful death and survival actions are claimed, the costs of litigation are reduced first by the percentage used for loss of consortium and then by the percentage used for wrongful death or survival action as set forth in §10.711;

(4) Multiply Subtotal E by 20% and subtract this amount from Subtotal E (Subtotal F);

(5) Compare Subtotal F and the refundable disbursements as defined in §10.714. Subtotal G is the lower of the two amounts;

(6) Multiply Subtotal G by the percentage used for attorney's fees in paragraph (a)(2), to determine the Government's allowance for attorney's fees, and subtract this amount from Subtotal G. This is the amount of the refund.

(b) The credit against future benefits (also referred to as the surplus) is calculated as follows:

(1) If Subtotal F, as calculated according to paragraph (a)(4) of this section, is less than the refundable disbursements, as defined in §10.714, there is no credit to be applied against future benefits (but the remainder of the unused disbursements must be applied to any future recovery for the same injury);

(2) If Subtotal F is greater than the refundable disbursements, the credit against future benefits (or surplus) amount is determined by subtracting the refundable disbursements from Subtotal F.

(c) Examples of how these calculations are made follows:

(1) In this example, a Federal employee sues another party for causing injuries for which the employee has received $22,000 in benefits under the FECA, subject to refund. The suit is settled and the injured employee receives $100,000, all of which was for his injury. The injured worker paid attorney's fees of $25,000 and costs for the litigation of $3,000.

(i) Gross Recovery$100,000.00
(ii) Amount of Property Damage$0.00
(iii) Subtotal A (Line a minus Line b)$100,000.00
(iv) Amount Allocated for Loss of Consortium 0% of Line c$0.00
(v) Subtotal B (Line c minus Line d)$100,000.00
(vi) Amount Allocated for Wrongful Death 0% of Line e$0.00
(vii) Amount Allocated for Survival Action 0% of Line e$0.00
(viii) Subtotal C—If Wrongful Death use Line f, if survival action use Line g, otherwise use Subtotal B$100,000.00
(ix) Attorney's Fees 25% (Line h × .25)$25,000.00
(x) Subtotal D (Line h minus Line i)$75,000.00
(xi) Court costs$3,000.00
(xii) Subtotal E (Line j minus Line k)$72,000.00
(xiii) One-fifth of Subtotal E (Line l × .20)$14,400.00
(xiv) Subtotal F (Line l minus Line m)$57,600.00
(xv) Refundable Disbursements$22,000.00
(xvi) Subtotal G (lower of Subtotal F or refundable disbursements)$22,000.00
(xvii) Government's allowance for attorney's fees (attorney's fees percentage used to determine Subtotal D multiplied by Subtotal G)$5,500.00
(xviii) Refund to the United States (Line p minus Line q)$16,500.00
(xix) Credit against future benefits (If Subtotal F greater than refundable disbursements, Line n minus Line o)$35,600.00

(2) In this example, a Federal employee who is married sues another party for causing injuries as a result of car accident where she was driving her personally owned vehicle on approved travel and the employee received $75,000 in disbursements. The suit includes a claim for loss of consortium which is permitted under the state law and for damage to her vehicle (documented at $50,000.00). A joint settlement is reached where the injured employee and her spouse receive $250,000 for all their claims. Attorney's fees were $83,325 and there were $25,000 in approved court costs.

(i) Gross Recovery$250,000.00
(ii) Amount of Property Damage$50,000.00
(iii) Subtotal A (Line a minus Line b)$200,000.00
(iv) Amount Allocated for Loss of Consortium (25% of Line c)$50,000.00
(v) Subtotal B (Line c minus Line d)$150,000.00
(vi) Amount Allocated for Wrongful Death 0% of Line e$0.00
(vii) Amount Allocated for Survival Action 0% of Line e$0.00
(viii) Subtotal C—If Wrongful Death Use Line f, if survival action use Line g, otherwise use Subtotal B$150,000.00
(ix) Attorney's Fees 33.33% (line h × .3333)$49,995.00
(x) Subtotal D (Line h minus Line i)$100,005.00
(xi) Court costs are reduced by the amount allocated for the loss of consortium (in this example, $25,000 − ($25,000 × .25))$18,750.00
(xii) Subtotal E (line j minus Line k)$81,255.00
(xiii) One-fifth of Subtotal E (Line l × .20)$16,251.00
(xiv) Subtotal F (Line l minus Line m)$65,004.00
(xv) Refundable Disbursements$75,000.00
(xvi) Subtotal G (lower of Subtotal F or refundable disbursements)$65,004.00
(xvii) Government's allowance for attorney's fees (attorney's fees percentage used to determine Subtotal D multiplied by subtotal G)$21,665.83
(xviii) Refund to the United States (Line p minus Line q)$43,338.17
(xix) Credit against future benefits (If Subtotal F is greater than refundable disbursements, Line n minus Line o)$0.00

(3) In this example, a Federal employee who is married with two minor children is killed in the performance of duty. A suit for wrongful death and survival is filed which includes claims for loss of consortium all of which is permitted under state law. A joint settlement is reached for all claims and all parties in the amount of $1,000,000. There were court costs of $48,000 and attorney's fees of $300,000. Two Statements of Recovery are completed: One for the wrongful death claim and the other for the survival action. Disbursements in this case were $30,000 for the deceased employee and $100,000 for the surviving spouse and children.

(i) For the wrongful death claim the calculation is as follows:

(A) Gross Recovery$1,000.000.00
(B) Amount of Property Damage$0.00
(C) Subtotal A (Line a minus Line b)$1,000,000.00
(D) Amount Allocated for Loss of Consortium (25% (15% for spouse, 5% for each child) of Line c)$250,000.00
(E) Subtotal B (Line c minus Line d)$750,000.00
(F) Amount Allocated for Wrongful Death 65% of Line e$487,500.00
(G) Amount Allocated for Survival Action 35% of Line e$262,500.00
(H) Subtotal C—If Wrongful Death Use Line f, if survival action use Line g, otherwise use Subtotal B$487,500.00
(I) Attorney's Fees 30% (Line h × .30)$146,250.00
(J) Subtotal D (Line h minus Line i)$341,250.00
(K) Court costs are reduced by the amount allocated for the loss of consortium (in this example, .25 × $48,000 = 12,000) and then by the amount allocated for survivor action, [(48,000 − 12,000) × .35 = 12,600], [48,000 − 12,000 − 12,600])$23,400.00
(L) Subtotal E (Line j minus Line k)$317,850.00
(M) One-fifth of Subtotal E (Line l × .20)$63,570.00
(N) Subtotal F (Line l minus Line m)$254,280.00
(O) Refundable Disbursements$100,000.00
(P) Subtotal G (lower of Subtotal F or refundable disbursements)$100,000.00
(Q) Government's allowance for attorney's fees (attorney's fees percentage used to determine Subtotal D multiplied by subtotal G)$30,000.00
(R) Refund to the United States (Line p minus Line q)$70,000.00
(S) Credit against future benefits (If Subtotal F is greater than refundable disbursements, Line n minus Line o)$154,280.00

(ii) For the survival claim the calculation is as follows:

(A) Gross Recovery$1,000.000.00
(B) Amount of Property Damage$0.00
(C) Subtotal A (Line a minus Line b)$1,000,000.00
(D) Amount Allocated for Loss of Consortium (25% (15% for spouse, 5% for each child) of Line c)$250,000.00
(E) Subtotal B (Line c minus Line d)$750,000.00
(F) Amount Allocated for Wrongful Death 65% of Line e$487,500.00
(G) Amount Allocated for Survival Action 35% of Line e$262,500.00
(H) Subtotal C—If Wrongful Death Use Line f, if survival action use Line g, otherwise use Subtotal B$262,500.00
(I) Attorney's Fees 30% (line h × .30)$78,750.00
(J) Subtotal D (Line h minus Line i)$183,750.00
(K) Court costs are reduced by the amount allocated for the loss of consortium (in this example, .25 × $48,000 = 12,000) and then by the amount allocated for wrongful death, [(48,000 − 12,000) × .65 = 23,400], [48,000 − 12,000 − 23,400])$12,600.00
(L) Subtotal E (Line j minus Line k)$171,150.00
(M) One-fifth of Subtotal E (Line l × .20)$34,230.00
(N) Subtotal F (Line l minus Line m)$136,920.00
(O) Refundable Disbursements$30,000.00
(P) Subtotal G (lower of Subtotal F or refundable disbursements)$30,000.00
(Q) Government's allowance for attorney's fees (attorney's fees percentage used to determine Subtotal D multiplied by subtotal G)$9,000.00
(R) Refund to the United States (Line p minus Line q)$21,000.00
(S) Credit against future benefits (If Subtotal F is greater than refundable disbursements, Line n minus Line o)$106,920.00

§10.713   How is a structured settlement (that is, a settlement providing for receipt of funds over a specified period of time) treated for purposes of reporting the gross recovery?

In this situation, the gross recovery to be reported is the present value of the right to receive all of the payments included in the structured settlement, allocated in the case of multiple recipients in the same manner as single payment recoveries.

§10.714   What amounts are included in the refundable disbursements?

The refundable disbursements of a specific claim consist of the total money paid by OWCP from the Employees' Compensation Fund with respect to that claim to or on behalf of a FECA beneficiary including charges for field nurses, vocational rehabilitation, and second opinion and referee physicians, less charges for any medical file review (i.e., the physician does not examine the employee) done at the request of OWCP. Charges for medical examinations also may be subtracted if the FECA beneficiary establishes that the examinations were required to be made available to the employee under a statute other than the FECA by the employing agency or at the employing agency's cost. Requests for disbursements can be made to SOL or OWCP.

§10.715   Is a beneficiary required to pay interest on the amount of the refund due to the United States?

If the refund due to the United States is not submitted within 30 days of receiving a request for payment from SOL or OWCP, interest shall accrue on the refund due to the United States from the date of the request. The rate of interest assessed shall be the rate of the current value of funds to the United States Treasury as published in the Federal Register (as of the date the request for payment is sent). Waiver of the collection of interest shall be in accordance with the provisions of the Department of Labor regulations on Federal Claims Collection governing waiver of interest, 29 CFR 20.61.

§10.716   If the required refund is not paid within 30 days of the request for repayment, can it be collected from payments due under the FECA?

If the required refund is not paid within 30 days of the request for payment, OWCP can, in its discretion, collect the refund by withholding all or part of any payments currently payable to the beneficiary under the FECA with respect to any injury. The waiver provisions of §§10.432 through 10.440 do not apply to such determinations.

§10.717   Is a settlement or judgment received as a result of allegations of medical malpractice in treating an injury covered by the FECA a gross recovery that must be reported to OWCP or SOL?

Since an injury caused by medical malpractice in treating an injury covered by the FECA is also an injury covered under the FECA, any recovery in a suit alleging such an injury is treated as a gross recovery that must be reported to OWCP or SOL.

§10.718   Are payments to a beneficiary as a result of an insurance policy which the beneficiary has purchased a gross recovery that must be reported to OWCP or SOL?

Since payments received by a FECA beneficiary pursuant to an insurance policy purchased by someone other than a liable third party are not payments in satisfaction of liability for causing an injury covered by the FECA, they are not considered a gross recovery covered by section 8132 that requires filing a Statement of Recovery and paying any required refund.

§10.719   If a settlement or judgment is received for more than one wound or medical condition, can the refundable disbursements paid on a single FECA claim be attributed to different conditions for purposes of calculating the refund or credit owed to the United States?

(a) All wounds, diseases or other medical conditions accepted by OWCP in connection with a single claim are treated as the same injury for the purpose of computing any required refund and any credit against future benefits in connection with the receipt of a recovery from a third party, except that an injury caused by medical malpractice in treating an injury covered under the FECA will be treated as a separate injury for purposes of section 8132.

(b) If an injury covered under the FECA is caused under circumstances creating a legal liability in more than one person, other than the United States, to pay damages, OWCP or SOL will determine whether recoveries received from one or more third parties should be attributed to separate conditions for which compensation is payable in connection with a single FECA claim. If such an attribution is both practicable and equitable, as determined by OWCP or SOL, in its discretion, the conditions will be treated as separate injuries for purposes of calculating the refund and credit owed to the United States under section 8132.

Federal Grand and Petit Jurors

§10.725   When is a Federal grand or petit juror covered under the FECA?

(a) Federal grand and petit jurors are covered under the FECA when they are in performance of duty as a juror, which includes that time when a juror is:

(1) In attendance at court pursuant to a summons;

(2) In deliberation;

(3) Sequestered by order of a judge; or

(4) At a site, by order of the court, for the taking of a view.

(b) A juror is not considered to be in the performance of duty while traveling to or from home in connection with the activities enumerated in paragraphs (a) (1) through (4) of this section.

§10.726   When does a juror's entitlement to disability compensation begin?

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1877, entitlement to disability compensation does not commence until the day after the date of termination of service as a juror.

§10.727   What is the pay rate of jurors for compensation purposes?

For the purpose of computing compensation payable for disability or death, a juror is deemed to receive pay at the minimum rate for Grade GS-2 of the General Schedule unless his or her actual pay as an “employee” of the United States while serving on court leave is higher, in which case the pay rate for compensation purposes is determined in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 8114.

Peace Corps Volunteers

§10.730   What are the conditions of coverage for Peace Corps volunteers and volunteer leaders injured while serving outside the United States?

(a) Any injury sustained by a volunteer or volunteer leader while he or she is located abroad is deemed proximately caused by Peace Corps employment and will be found by OWCP to have been sustained in the performance of duty, and any illness contracted while that volunteer is located abroad will be found by OWCP to be proximately caused by the employment unless the evidence establishes:

(1) The injury or illness was caused by the claimant's willful misconduct, intent to bring about the injury or death of self or another, or was proximately caused by the intoxication by alcohol or illegal drugs of the injured claimant; or

(2) The illness is shown to have pre-existed the period of service abroad; or

(3) The injury or illness claimed is a manifestation of symptoms of, or consequent to, a pre-existing congenital defect or abnormality.

(b) If the OWCP finds that the evidence indicates that the injury or illness may not have been sustained in the performance of duty due to the circumstances enumerated in paragraph (a)(2) and (3) of this section, the claimant may still prove his claim by the submittal of substantial and probative evidence that such injury or illness was sustained in the performance of duty with the Peace Corps.

(c) If an injury or illness, or episode thereof, comes within one of the exceptions described in paragraph (a)(2) or (3) of this section, the claimant may nonetheless be entitled to compensation. This will be so provided he or she meets the burden of proving by the submittal of substantial, probative and rationalized medical evidence that the illness or injury was proximately caused by factors or conditions of Peace Corps service, or that it was materially aggravated, accelerated or precipitated by factors of Peace Corps service; if the injury or illness was temporarily aggravated by factors of Peace Corps service, disability compensation is payable for the period of such aggravation.

§10.731   What is the pay rate of Peace Corps volunteers and volunteer leaders for compensation purposes?

The pay rate for these claimants is defined as the pay rate in effect on the date following separation, provided that the rate equals or exceeds the pay rate on the date of injury. It is defined in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 8142(a), not 8101(4).

Non-Federal Law Enforcement Officers

§10.735   When is a non-Federal law enforcement officer (LEO) covered under the FECA?

(a) A law enforcement officer (officer) includes an employee of a State or local Government, the Governments of U.S. possessions and territories, or an employee of the United States pensioned or pensionable under sections 521-535 of Title 4, D.C. Code, whose functions include the activities listed in 5 U.S.C. 8191.

(b) Benefits are available to officers who are not “employees” under 5 U.S.C. 8101, and who are determined in the discretion of OWCP to have been engaged in the activities listed in 5 U.S.C. 8191 with respect to the enforcement of crimes against the United States. Individuals who only perform administrative functions in support of officers are not considered officers.

(c) Except as provided by 5 U.S.C. 8191 and 8192 and elsewhere in this part, the provisions of the FECA and of subparts A, B, and D through I of this part apply to officers.

§10.736   What are the time limits for filing a LEO claim?

OWCP must receive a claim for benefits under 5 U.S.C. 8191 within five years after the injury or death. This five-year limitation is not subject to waiver. The tolling provisions of 5 U.S.C. 8122(d) do not apply to these claims.

§10.737   How is a LEO claim filed, and who can file a LEO claim?

A claim for injury or occupational disease should be filed on Form CA-721; a death claim should be filed on Form CA-722. All claims should be submitted to the officer's employer for completion and forwarding to OWCP. A claim may be filed by the officer, the officer's survivor, or any person or association authorized to act on behalf of an officer or an officer's survivors.

§10.738   Under what circumstances are benefits payable in LEO claims?

(a) Benefits are payable when an officer is injured while apprehending, or attempting to apprehend, an individual for the commission of a Federal crime. However, either an actual Federal crime must be in progress or have been committed, or objective evidence (of which the officer is aware at the time of injury) must exist that a potential Federal crime was in progress or had already been committed. The actual or potential Federal crime must be an integral part of the criminal activity toward which the officer's actions are directed. The fact that an injury to an officer is related in some way to the commission of a Federal crime does not necessarily bring the injury within the coverage of the FECA. The FECA is not intended to cover officers who are merely enforcing local laws.

(b) For benefits to be payable when an officer is injured preventing, or attempting to prevent, a Federal crime, there must be objective evidence that a Federal crime is about to be committed. An officer's belief, unsupported by objective evidence, that he or she is acting to prevent the commission of a Federal crime will not result in coverage. Moreover, the officer's subjective intent, as measured by all available evidence (including the officer's own statements and testimony, if available), must have been directed toward the prevention of a Federal crime. In this context, an officer's own statements and testimony are relevant to, but do not control, the determination of coverage.

§10.739   What kind of objective evidence of a potential Federal crime must exist for coverage to be extended?

Based on the facts available at the time of the event, the officer must have an awareness of sufficient information which would lead a reasonable officer, under the circumstances, to conclude that a Federal crime was in progress, or was about to occur. This awareness need not extend to the precise particulars of the crime (the section of Title 18, United States Code, for example), but there must be sufficient evidence that the officer was in fact engaged in actual or attempted apprehension of a Federal criminal or prevention of a Federal crime.

§10.740   In what situations will OWCP automatically presume that a law enforcement officer is covered by the FECA?

(a) Where an officer is detailed by a competent State or local authority to assist a Federal law enforcement authority in the protection of the President of the United States, or any other person actually provided or entitled to U.S. Secret Service protection, coverage will be extended.

(b) Coverage for officers of the U.S. Park Police and those officers of the Uniformed Division of the U.S. Secret Service who participate in the District of Columbia Retirement System is adjudicated under the principles set forth in paragraph (a) of this section, and does not extend to numerous tangential activities of law enforcement (for example, reporting to work, changing clothes). However, officers of the Non-Uniformed Division of the U.S. Secret Service who participate in the District of Columbia Retirement System are covered under the FECA during the performance of all official duties.

§10.741   How are benefits calculated in LEO claims?

(a) Except for continuation of pay, eligible officers and survivors are entitled to the same benefits as if the officer had been an employee under 5 U.S.C. 8101. However, such benefits may be reduced or adjusted as OWCP in its discretion may deem appropriate to reflect comparable benefits which the officer or survivor received or would have been entitled to receive by virtue of the officer's employment.

(b) For the purpose of this section, a comparable benefit includes any benefit that the officer or survivor is entitled to receive because of the officer's employment, including pension and disability funds, State workers' compensation payments, Public Safety Officers' Benefits Act payments, and State and local lump-sum payments. Health benefits coverage and proceeds of life insurance policies purchased by the employer are not considered to be comparable benefits.

(c) The FECA provides that, where an officer receives comparable benefits, compensation benefits are to be reduced proportionally in a manner that reflects the relative percentage contribution of the officer and the officer's employer to the fund which is the source of the comparable benefit. Where the source of the comparable benefit is a retirement or other system which is not fully funded, the calculation of the amount of the reduction will be based on a per capita comparison between the contribution by the employer and the contribution by all covered officers during the year prior to the officer's injury or death.

(d) The non-receipt of compensation during a period where a dual benefit (such as a lump-sum payment on the death of an officer) is being offset against compensation entitlement does not result in an adjustment of the respective benefit percentages of remaining beneficiaries because of a cessation of compensation under 5 U.S.C. 8133(c).



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