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Title 20: Employees' Benefits
§10.500 What are the basic rules governing continuing receipt of compensation benefits and return to work?
(a) Benefits are available only while the effects of a work-related condition continue. Compensation for wage loss due to disability is available only for any periods during which an employee's work-related medical condition prevents him or her from earning the wages earned before the work-related injury. For example, an employee is not entitled to compensation for any wage-loss claimed on a CA-7 to the extent that evidence contemporaneous with the period claimed on a CA-7 establishes that an employee had medical work restrictions in place; that light duty within those work restrictions was available; and that the employee was previously notified in writing that such duty was available. Similarly, an employee receiving continuing periodic payments for disability was not prevented from earning the wages earned before the work-related injury if the evidence establishes that the employing agency had offered, in accordance with OWCP procedures, a temporary light duty assignment within the employee's work restrictions. (The penalty provision of 5 U.S.C. 8106(c)(2) will not be imposed on such assignments under this paragraph.)
(b) Each disabled employee is obligated to perform such work as he or she can. OWCP's goal is to return each disabled employee to work as soon as he or she is medically able. In determining what work qualifies under 5 U.S.C. 8115 for determining the wage-earning capacity for a particular disabled employee, OWCP considers all relevant factors, including the employee's current physical limitations, whether the work is available within the employee's demonstrated commuting area and the employee's qualifications to perform such work.
(c) A disabled employee who refuses to seek or accept suitable employment within the meaning of 5 U.S.C. 8106(c)(2) is not entitled to compensation.
(d) Payment of medical benefits is available for all treatment necessary due to a work-related medical condition.