The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Workers' Compensation (OWCP) administers four major disability compensation programs, one of which is the Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA). The costs incurred for FECA claims are paid by NASA via the OWCP's Employees' Compensation Fund. Each year, NASA reimburses the Fund for the amounts paid to its employees for Federal workers' compensation costs during the previous year. These are called chargeback costs.
FECA provides wage replacement benefits, medical/surgical treatment, vocational rehabilitation and other benefits to Civil Service employees who experience work-related injuries or occupational disease. FECA also provides compensation to employee dependents if an injury or disease causes an employee's death. The OWCP administers benefits under the FECA and has offices located in 12 districts throughout the U.S.
NASA Federal Workers' Compensation (FWC) Injury Compensation Specialists (ICS's) are located at each Center to assist employees with work-related injury and illness claims. ICS's work closely with their Center's Office of Safety and Mission Assurance to identify ways that NASA can further ensure a safe working environment for employees. Through proactive and preventive management efforts, ICS's work with their Center's Occupational Health Office, Office of Human Resources and Education, and Center workforce supervisors to reduce compensation costs for medical treatment and benefits. ICS's also obtain medical information from OWCP or injured employees as often as is necessary within OWCP and Office of Personnel Management (OPM) regulations to assess the possibility of their return to regular or light duty assignments.
To facilitate employees' return to work, ICS's advise employees' physicians of any light duty work available. This allows NASA to monitor the medical care provided and notify OWCP if it believes action should be taken in this regard. ICS's maintain contact with injured employees while they are receiving workers' compensation. With the assistance of injured employees' supervisors, the Office of Human Resources and Education, the ICS's attempt to identify suitable jobs to initiate return to work efforts for recovered or recovering employees, as soon as the medical evidence indicates that this is possible. ICS's have the option of arranging for independent medical examinations for the sole purpose of determining if an employee is able to work in any capacity, thereby thereby facilitating return to work.
NASA Federal Workers' Compensation Coordinator Janine Hardin 321-867-2423 firstname.lastname@example.org