55 FR 9296, Mar. 12, 1990, unless otherwise noted.
Pursuant to the authority granted at 18 U.S.C. 4126, the procedures set forth in this part govern the payment of accident compensation, necessitated as the result of work-related injuries, to federal prison inmates or their dependents. Compensation may be awarded via two separate and distinct programs:
(a) Inmate Accident Compensation may be awarded to former federal inmates or their dependents for physical impairment or death resultant from injuries sustained while performing work assignments in Federal Prison Industries, Inc., in institutional work assignments involving the operation or maintenance of a federal correctional facility, or in approved work assignments for other federal entities; or,
(b) Lost-time wages may be awarded to inmates assigned to Federal Prison Industries, Inc., to paid institutional work assignments involving the operation or maintenance of a federal correctional facility, or in approved work assignments for other federal entities for work-related injuries resulting in time lost from the work assignment.
(a) For purposes of this part, the term work-related injury shall be defined to include any injury, including occupational disease or illness, proximately caused by the actual performance of the inmate's work assignment.
(1) For purposes of this part, the term release is defined as the removal of an inmate from a Bureau of Prisons correctional facility upon expiration of sentence, parole, final discharge from incarceration of a pretrial inmate, or transfer to a community corrections center or other non-federal facility, at the conclusion of the period of confinement in which the injury occurred.
(2) In the case of an inmate who suffers a work-related injury while housed at a community corrections center, release is defined as the removal of the inmate from the community corrections center upon expiration of sentence, parole, or transfer to any non-federal facility, at the conclusion of the period of confinement in which the injury occurred.
(3) In the case of an inmate who suffers a work-related injury while housed at a community corrections center and is subsequently transferred to a Bureau of Prisons facility, release is defined as the removal of the inmate from the Bureau of Prisons facility upon expiration of sentence, parole, or transfer to a community corrections center or other non-federal facility.
(c) For purposes of this part, the term dependent is defined as the legally recognized spouse or child of an inmate for whose support the inmate is legally responsible in whole or part.
(d) For purposes of this part, the term work detail supervisor may refer to either a Bureau of Prisons or a non-Bureau of Prisons supervisor.
(e) For the purposes of this part, the phrase housed at or based at a “Bureau of Prisons institution” shall refer to an inmate that has a work assignment with a Bureau of Prisons institution or with another federal entity and is incarcerated at a Bureau of Prisons institution. For the purposes of this part, the phrase based at or housed at a “community corrections center” shall refer to an inmate who has a work assignment for a non-Bureau of Prisons federal entity and is incarcerated at a community corrections center.
The unit team of each inmate, which ordinarily designates work assignments, or whoever makes work assignments, shall review appropriate medical records, presentence reports, admission summaries, and all other available information prior to the designation of an inmate to a work assignment in an effort to preclude the assignment of an inmate to a work assignment not compatible with the inmate's physical ability or condition.
Whenever an inmate worker is injured while in the performance of assigned duty, regardless of the extent of the injury, the inmate shall immediately report the injury to his official work detail supervisor. In the case of injuries on work details for other federal entities, the inmate shall also report the injury as soon as possible to community corrections or institution staff, as appropriate. The work detail supervisor shall immediately secure such first aid, medical, or hospital treatment as may be necessary for the proper treatment of the injured inmate. First aid treatment may be provided by any knowledgeable individual. Medical, surgical, and hospital care shall be rendered under the direction of institution medical staff for all inmates based at Bureau of Prisons institutions. In the case of inmates based at community corrections centers, medical care shall be arranged by the work supervisor or by community corrections center staff in accordance with the medical needs of the inmate. Refusal by an inmate worker to accept such medical, surgical, hospital, or first aid treatment recommended by medical staff or by other medical professionals may result in denial of any claim for compensation for any impairment resulting from the injury.
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(a) After initiating necessary action for medical attention, the work detail supervisor shall immediately secure a record of the cause, nature, and exact extent of the injury. The work detail supervisor shall complete a BP-140, Injury Report (Inmate), on all injuries reported by the inmate, as well as injuries observed by staff. In the case of injuries on work details for other federal entities, the work supervisor shall also immediately inform community corrections or institution staff, as appropriate, of the injury. The injury report shall contain a signed statement from the inmate on how the accident occurred. The names and statements of all witnesses (e.g., staff, inmates, or others) shall be included in the report. If the injury resulted from the operation of mechanical equipment, an identifying description or photograph of the machine or instrument causing the injury shall be obtained, to include a description of all safety equipment used by the injured inmate at the time of the injury. Staff shall provide the inmate with a copy of the injury report. Staff shall then forward the original and remaining copies of the injury report to the Institutional Safety Manager for review. In the case of inmates based at community corrections centers, the work detail supervisor shall provide the inmate with a copy of the injury report and shall forward the original and remaining copies of the injury report to the Community Corrections Manager responsible for the particular community corrections center where the inmate is housed.
(b) The Institution Safety Manager or Community Corrections Manager shall ensure that a medical description of the injury is included on the BP-140 whenever the injury requires medical attention. The Institution Safety Manager or Community Corrections Manager shall also ensure that the appropriate sections of BP-140, Page 2, Injury - Lost-Time Follow-Up Report, are completed and that all reported work injuries are properly documented.
[59 FR 2667, Jan. 18, 1994]
If an inmate worker is involved in successive accidents on a particular work site in a comparatively short period of time, regardless of whether injury occurs, and the circumstances of the accidents indicate an awkwardness or ineptitude that, in the opinion of the inmate's work supervisor, implies a danger of further accidents in the task assigned, the inmate shall be assigned to another task more suitable to the inmate's ability.
Lost-time wages shall be available only for inmates based at Bureau of Prisons institutions.
[59 FR 2667, Jan. 18, 1994]
(a) When the institution safety manager receives notice, or has reason to believe, a work-related injury may result in time lost from the work assignment, he or she shall present BP-140, Pages 1 and 2 (with the appropriate sections completed) to the Institution Safety Committee at the Committee's next regularly scheduled meeting. The Safety Committee shall make a determination of the injury's work-relatedness based on the available evidence and testimony. The determination shall be recorded on BP-140, Page 2, a copy of which shall be provided to the inmate.
(b) A determination of work-relatedness for purposes of awarding lost-time wages is not confirmation on the validity of any subsequent claim to receive compensation for work-related physical impairment or death.
(a) An inmate worker may receive lost-time wages for the number of regular work hours absent from work due to injury sustained in the performance of the assigned work.
(b) Lost-time wages are paid for time lost in excess of three consecutively scheduled workdays. The day of injury is considered to be the first workday regardless of the time of injury.
(c) An inmate may receive lost-time wages at the rate of 75% of the standard hourly rate of the inmate's regular work assignment at the time of the injury.
(a) Once approved, the inmate shall receive lost-time wages until the inmate:
(1) Is released;
(2) Is transferred to another institution for reasons unrelated to the work injury;
(3) Returns to the pre-injury work assignment;
(4) Is reassigned to another work area or program for reasons unrelated to the sustained work injury, or is placed into Disciplinary Segregation; or,
(5) Refuses to return to a regular work assignment or to a lighter duty work assignment after medical certification of fitness for such duty.
(b) An inmate medically certified as fit for return to work shall sustain no monetary loss due to a required change in work assignment. Where there is no light duty or regular work assignment available at the same rate of pay as the inmate's pre-injury work assignment, the difference shall be paid in lost-time wages. Lost-time wages are paid until a light duty or regular work assignment at the same pay rate as the inmate's pre-injury work assignment is available.
(a) No compensation for work-related injuries resulting in physical impairment shall be paid prior to an inmate's release.
(b) Compensation may only be paid for work-related injuries or claims alleging improper medical treatment of a work-related injury. This ordinarily includes only those injuries suffered during the performance of an inmate's regular work assignment. However, injuries suffered during the performance of voluntary work in the operation or maintenance of the institution, when such work has been approved by staff, may also be compensable.
(c) Compensation is not paid for injuries sustained during participation in institutional programs (such as programs of a social, recreational, or community relations nature) or from maintenance of one's own living quarters. Furthermore, compensation shall not be paid for injuries suffered away from the work location (e.g., while the claimant is going to or leaving work, or going to or coming from lunch outside of the work station or area).
(d) Injuries sustained by inmate workers willfully or with intent to injure someone else, or injuries suffered in any activity not related to the actual performance of the work assignment are not compensable, and no claim for compensation for such injuries will be approved. Willful violation of rules and regulations may result in denial of compensation for any resulting injury.
A claim for compensation as the result of work-related death may be filed by a dependent of the deceased inmate up to one year after the inmate's work-related death. The claim shall be submitted directly to the Claims Examiner, Federal Bureau of Prisons, 320 First Street NW., Washington, DC 20534.
(a) No more than 45 days prior to the date of an inmate's release, but no less than 15 days prior to this date, each inmate who feels that a residual physical impairment exists as a result of an industrial, institution, or other work-related injury shall submit a FPI Form 43, Inmate Claim for Compensation on Account of Work Injury. Assistance will be given the inmate to properly prepare the claim, if the inmate wishes to file. In each case a definite statement shall be made by the claimant as to the impairment caused by the alleged injury. The completed claim form shall be submitted to the Institution Safety Manager or Community Corrections Manager for processing.
(b) In the case of an inmate based at a community corrections center who is being transferred to a Bureau of Prisons institution, the Community Corrections Manager shall forward all materials relating to an inmate's work-related injury to the Institution Safety Manager at the particular institution where an inmate is being transferred, for eventual processing by the Safety Manager prior to the inmate's release from that institution.
(c) Each claimant shall submit to a medical examination to determine the degree of physical impairment. Refusal, or failure, to submit to such a medical examination shall result in the forfeiture of all rights to compensation. In each case of visible impairment, disfigurement, or loss of member, photographs shall be taken to show the actual condition and shall be transmitted with FPI Form 43.
(d) The claim, after completion by the physician conducting the impairment examination, shall be returned to the Institution Safety Manager or Community Corrections Manager for final processing. It shall then be forwarded promptly to the Claims Examiner, Federal Bureau of Prisons, 320 First Street NW., Washington, DC 20534.
(e) It is the responsibility of each claimant to advise the Claims Examiner of his or her current address, in writing, at all times during the pendency of a claim for Inmate Accident Compensation.
(f) When circumstances preclude submission in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (a) of this section, a claim may be accepted up to 60 days following release. Additionally, a claim for impairment may be accepted up to one year after release, for good cause shown. In such cases the claim shall be submitted directly to the Claims Examiner, Federal Bureau of Prisons, 320 First Street NW., Washington, DC 20534.
(a) Any person may represent the claimant's interest in any proceeding for determination of a claim under this part, so long as that person is not confined in any federal, state or local correctional facility. Written appointment of a representative, signed by the claimant, must be submitted before the representative's authority to act on behalf of the claimant may be acknowledged.
(b) It is not necessary that a claimant employ an attorney or other person to assert a claim or effect collection of an award. Under no circumstances will the assignment of any award be recognized, nor will attorney fees be paid by Federal Prison Industries, Inc.
A claim for inmate accident compensation shall be determined by a Claims Examiner under authority delegated by the Board of Directors of Federal Prison Industries, Inc., pursuant to 28 CFR 0.99. In determining the claim, the Claims Examiner will consider all available evidence. Written notice of the determination, including the reasons therefore, together with notification of the right to appeal the determination, shall be mailed to the claimant at the claimant's last known address, or to the claimant's duly appointed representative.
(a) An Inmate Accident Compensation Committee (hereafter referred to as the “Committee”) shall be appointed by the Chief Operating Officer, Federal Prison Industries, Inc., under authority delegated by the Board of Directors of Federal Prison Industries, Inc., pursuant to 28 CFR 0.99. The Committee shall consist of four members and four alternate members, with any three thereof required to form a quorum for decision-making purposes.
(b) Any claimant not satisfied with any decision of the Claims Examiner concerning the amount or right to compensation shall, upon written request made within 30 days after the date of issuance of such determination, or up to 30 days thereafter upon a showing of reasonable cause, be afforded an opportunity for either an in-person hearing before the Committee, or Committee reconsideration of the decision. A claimant may request an in-person hearing or reconsideration by writing to the Inmate Accident Compensation Committee, Federal Bureau of Prisons, 320 First Street NW., Washington, DC 20534.
(c) Upon receipt of claimant's request, a determination will be made regarding the timeliness of the filing. If the request is timely filed, or if reasonable cause exists to accept the request filed in an untimely manner, the request shall be accepted. Once accepted, a copy of the information upon which the Claims Examiner's initial determination was based shall be mailed to the claimant at the claimant's last known address, or to claimant's duly appointed representative, provided the release of such information is not determined to pose a threat to the safety of the claimant, any other inmate, or staff.
(a) Committee action shall ordinarily occur within 60 days of the receipt of claimant's request, except as provided in this section. Notice of the date set for Committee action shall be mailed to the claimant at the claimant's last known address, or to claimant's duly appointed representative. All Committee action shall be conducted at the Central Office of the Bureau of Prisons, 320 First Street NW., Washington, DC 20534.
(b) A hearing or reconsideration may be postponed at the option of the Committee, or, if good cause is shown, upon request of the claimant. A claimant may change the request from either hearing to reconsideration or reconsideration to hearing, provided notice of such change is received at least 10 days prior to the previously scheduled action.
If the claimant elects to have the Committee reconsider any decision of the Claims Examiner, the claimant may submit documentary evidence which the Committee shall consider in addition to the original record. The Committee must receive evidence no less than 10 days prior to the date of reconsideration, and may request additional documentary evidence from the claimant or any other source.
(a) The appeal shall be considered to have been abandoned if the claimant fails to appear at the time and place set for the hearing and does not, within 10 days after the time set for that hearing, show good cause for failure to appear.
(b) In conducting the hearing, the Committee is not bound by common law or statutory rules of evidence, or by technical or formal rules of procedure, but may conduct the hearing in such manner as to best ascertain the rights and obligations of the claimant and the government. At such hearing, the claimant shall be afforded an opportunity to present evidence in support of the claim under review.
(c) The Committee shall consider all evidence presented by the claimant, and shall, in addition, consider any other evidence as the Committee may determine to be useful in evaluating the claim. Evidence may be presented orally and/or in the form of written statements and exhibits.
(d) A representative appointed in accordance with the provisions of this section may make or give, on behalf of the claimant, any request or notice relative to any proceeding before the Committee. A representative shall be entitled to present or elicit evidence or make allegations as to fact and law in any proceeding affecting the claimant and to request information with respect to the claim. Likewise, any request for additional information, or notice to any claimant of any administrative action, determination, or decision, may be sent to the representative of such claimant, and shall have the same force and effect as if it had been sent to the claimant.
(e) In order to fully evaluate the claim, the Committee may question the claimant and any witness(es) appearing before the Committee on behalf of the claimant or government.
(f) Claimant, or claimant's representative, may question the Committee or any witness(es) appearing before the Committee on behalf of the government, but only on matters determined by the Committee to be relevant to its evaluation of the claim.
(g) The hearing shall be recorded, and a copy of the recording or, at the discretion of the Committee, a transcript thereof shall be made available to the claimant upon request, provided such request is made not later than 90 days following the date of the hearing.
(a) If a claimant wishes to present witnesses at the hearing, the claimant must provide the Committee, no less than 10 days before the scheduled hearing date, the name and address of each proposed witness, along with an outline of each witness' testimony. The Committee may limit the number of witnesses who may appear at a hearing, however, the Committee has no authority to compel the attendance of any witness.
(b) Any person confined in a Federal, State, or local penal or correctional institution at the time of the hearing may not appear as a witness, but that person's testimony may be submitted in the form of a written statement.
Federal Prison Industries, Inc., may not assume responsibility for any expenses incurred by the claimant, claimant's representative, or any witness appearing on behalf of the claimant in connection with attendance at the hearing, as well as any other costs relating to any representative, witnesses, or evidence associated with a hearing before the Committee.
The Committee shall mail written notice of its decision to affirm, reverse, or amend the Claims Examiner's initial determination, with the reasons for its decision, to the claimant at the claimant's last known address, or to claimant's duly appointed representative, no later than 30 days after the date of the hearing unless the Committee needs to make a further investigation as a result of information received at the hearing. If the Committee conducts further investigation subsequent to the hearing, the decision notice shall be mailed no later than 30 days after the conclusion of the Committee's investigation.
Any claimant not satisfied with the Committee's reconsidered decision or decision after a hearing may appeal such decision to the Chief Operating Officer, Federal Prison Industries, Inc., 320 First Street NW., Washington, DC 20534. A written request for such an appeal must be received no later than 90 days after the date of notice of the Committee's decision. The Chief Operating Officer shall review the record and affirm, reverse or amend the Committee's decision no later than 90 days after receipt of claimant's notice of appeal. Written notice of the Chief Operating Officer's decision shall be mailed to the claimant's last known address, or to the claimant's representative.
(a) If a claim for Inmate Accident Compensation is approved, the amount of compensation shall be based upon the degree of physical impairment existent at the time of the claimant's release regardless of when during the claimant's period of confinement the injury was sustained. No claim for compensation will be approved if full recovery occurs while the inmate is in custody and no impairment remains at the time of release.
(b) In determining the amount of accident compensation to be paid, the permanency and severity of the injury in terms of functional impairment shall be considered. The provisions of the Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA) (5 U.S.C. 8101, et seq.) shall be followed when practicable. The FECA establishes a set number of weeks of compensation applicable for injuries to specific body members or organs (section 8107).
(c) All awards of Inmate Accident Compensation shall be based upon the minimum wage (as prescribed by the Fair Labor Standards Act).
(1) For body members or organs covered under section 8107, the minimum wage applicable at the time of the award shall be used as the basis for determining the amount of compensation. Awards regarding injury to body members or organs covered under section 8107 shall be paid in a lump sum. Acceptance of such an award shall constitute full and final settlement of the claim for compensation.
(2) For body members or organs not covered under section 8107, awards will be paid on a monthly basis because such awards are subject to periodic review of entitlement. The minimum wage applicable at the time of each monthly payment shall be used in determining the amount of each monthly payment. Monthly payments are ordinarily mailed the first day of the month following the month in which the award is effective.
(a) Each monthly compensation recipient shall be required, upon request of the Claims Examiner, to submit to a medical examination, by a physician specified or approved by the Claims Examiner, to determine the current status of his physical impairment. Any reduction in the degree of physical impairment revealed by this examination shall result in a commensurate reduction in the amount of monthly compensation provided. Failure to submit to this physical examination shall be deemed refusal, and shall ordinarily result in denial of future compensation. The costs associated with this examination shall be borne by Federal Prison Industries, Inc.
(b) Inasmuch as compensation awards are based upon the minimum wage, any income received by a compensation recipient which exceeds the annual income available at the minimum wage (based upon a 40 hour work week), including Social Security or veterans benefits received as the result of the work-related injury for which Inmate Accident Compensation has been awarded, shall be deemed excessive. The amount of compensation payable to a claimant with an income deemed excessive shall be reduced at the rate of one dollar for each two dollars of earned and benefit income which exceeds the annual income available at minimum wage. Each monthly compensation recipient shall be required to provide a statement of earnings on an annual basis, or as otherwise requested. Failure to provide this statement shall result in the suspension or denial of all Inmate Accident Compensation benefits until such time as satisfactory evidence of continued eligibility is provided.
If a claimant, who has been awarded compensation on a monthly basis, is or becomes incarcerated at any federal, state, or local correctional facility, monthly compensation payments payable to the claimant shall ordinarily be suspended until such time as the claimant is released from the correctional facility.
[59 FR 2667, Jan. 18, 1994]
Federal Prison lndustries, Inc., may not pay the cost of medical, hospital treatment, or any other related expense incurred after release from confinement unless such cost is authorized by the Claims Examiner in advance, or the Claims Examiner determines that circumstances warrant the waiver of this requirement. Generally, the payment of such costs is limited to impairment evaluations, or treatments intended to reduce the degree of physical impairment, conducted at the direction of the Claims Examiner. The amount of a payment for medical treatment is limited to reasonable expenses incurred, such as those amounts authorized under the applicable fee schedule established pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1395w-4 for the Department of Health and Human Services Medicare program.
The Inmate Accident Compensation system is not obligated to comply with the provisions of any other system of worker's compensation except where stated in this part. Awards made under the provisions of the Inmate Accident Compensation procedure differ from awards made under civilian workmen's compensation laws in that hospitalization is usually completed prior to the inmate's release from the institution and, except for a three-day waiting period, the inmate receives wages while absent from work. Other factors necessarily must be considered that do not enter into the administration of civilian workmen's compensation laws. As in the case of federal employees who allege they have sustained work-related injuries, the burden of proof lies with the claimant to establish that the claimed impairment is causally related to the claimant's work assignment.
Inmates who are subject to the provisions of these Inmate Accident Compensation regulations are barred from recovery under the Federal Tort Claims Act (28 U.S.C. 2671 et seq.). Recovery under the Inmate Accident Compensation procedure was declared by the U.S. Supreme Court to be the exclusive remedy in the case of work-related injury. U.S. v. Demko, 385 U.S. 149 (1966).