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Federal Workers' Compensation

The Office of Workers' Compensation Programs administers four major disability compensation programs which provide wage replacement benefits, medical treatment, vocational rehabilitation and other benefits to certain workers or their dependents who experience work-related injury or occupational disease.

Here is a forum for members to share and exchange experiences regarding to workers' compensation related issues.

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#1 Posted : Sunday, June 6, 2021 12:35:49 PM(UTC)

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From the FECA Procedure Manual:

b. Definitions. If the veteran's benefit was for a non-service-related condition, no election is required. The following discussion addresses claims involving service-related conditions.

(1) The prohibition against dual payment of FECA and veterans' benefits applies to those cases where the disability or death of an employee has resulted from an injury sustained in civilian employment by the United States and the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA), formerly the Veterans Administration, has held that the same disability or death was caused by the military service. See Adeline N. Etzel, claiming as widow of Bernard E. Etzel (21 ECAB 151).

Example: Federal employee, a veteran, is disabled by or dies from pulmonary tuberculosis. DVA finds that the disease became manifest within the medical presumptive period after military service and grants benefits on the basis of military service connection. OWCP finds that the disability or death resulting from this disease is related to veteran's Federal civilian employment and grants FECA benefits. Employee or his survivors are eligible for both FEC and veterans' benefits for the same disability or death, namely, that resulting from pulmonary tuberculosis. An election is required.

(2) The prohibition also extends to an increase in a veteran's service-connected disability award, where the increase is brought about by an injury sustained while in civilian employment. See Louis Teplitsky (22 ECAB 142) and France Marie Kral (24 ECAB 157).

Example 1: A Federal employee is receiving benefits from the DVA for 50 percent disability due to a service-connected emotional condition, and has a civilian employment injury which causes a disabling aggravation of the pre-existing emotional condition. OWCP determines that the employee has a total loss of wage-earning capacity due to the emotional condition. Subsequent to the employment injury, DVA increases its award to 100 percent as a result of the aggravation by the civilian employment injury.

An election between benefits is required in this case. The election will be between the amount of entitlement under FECA plus the amount received from the DVA for 50 percent prior to his civilian employment injury, on the one hand, and the total amount of entitlement from the DVA for 100 percent, on the other hand.

In other words, no election is required between the veteran's benefit the claimant was receiving at the time of the civilian employment injury and the FECA benefits to which the claimant is entitled for the civilian employment injury because these benefits are not payable for the same injury. When the DVA increased its benefits an election was required because the increased benefits were payable because of the same employment injury which formed the basis of entitlement to FECA benefits.

Example 2: A Federal employee is receiving benefits from the DVA for 20 percent disability based on a service-connected injury to the right knee. A subsequent injury to the same knee while in civilian employment results in 25 percent disability of the leg, for which FECA benefits are payable. The DVA increases its award to 30 percent because of the civilian employment injury.

The election required in this case is the same as that required in Example No. 1 above--i.e., between a schedule award, for the full extent of the permanent loss of the use of the leg under the FECA plus the amount received from the DVA prior to the employment injury, on the one hand, and the total benefits provided by the DVA subsequent to its increase, on the other hand.
thanks 1 user thanked VW1 for this useful post.
swimmingly on 6/6/2021(UTC)
#2 Posted : Sunday, June 6, 2021 1:20:42 PM(UTC)

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I'm even more confused now by reading that....... I was awarded 10% for tinnitus.I was now just given 70% for the same condition I'm on OWCP for (MDD and chronic anxiety). I will be sent a letter with this finding for VA TDUI as I cannot work and have not had a full time job since being released from the USPS. I have read that TDUI goes back to when I was found not able to work. I did file for this VA then however it was denied years ago.. If I do make an election what will the date be???? Thanks VW1
jesse slade  
#3 Posted : Sunday, June 6, 2021 2:10:50 PM(UTC)

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If your VA benefits are for tinnitus and tinnitus is NOT accepted by OWCP, then there's no problem.
thanks 1 user thanked for this useful post.
swimmingly on 6/6/2021(UTC)
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