Workers' Compensation

Overview

The NIH Workers' Compensation Program is responsible for paying benefits to employees who are injured on the job. This includes traumatic injuries and occupational diseases. For indepth information or assistance with forms, contact a Specialist at (301) 402-2669. 

What to do

In the event of a workplace injury, find your role and follow the steps:

NIH Employees

Step 1: You have sustained an injury or illness at work

In the event of an injury at work, the following steps should be completed by the injured employee:

  • Immediately initiate first aid: Contaminated skin and wounds should be washed thoroughly with soap and water for 15 minutes. If eyes or other mucous members are contaminated, they should be irrigated for 15 minutes using normal saline or water.
  • Notify your supervisor: The supervisor should be informed immediately of the incident if he/she is directly available.
  • Report to Occupational Medical Services (OMS): OMS is located in Building 10, Room 6C306, and is open from 7:30am to 5:00pm, Monday-Friday.

OMS will provide further information on the appropriate forms to complete for compensation, if applicable.

In the event that OMS is closed, the Clinical Center Operator can be contacted at (301) 496-1211 and the on-call doctor can assist with first aid.

Step 2: Filing a claim using ECOMP

All Federal Employees who are injured at work and would like to file a claim under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA) must now do so using the electronic filing system, ECOMP. Instructions for filing a CA-1 or CA-2 form in ECOMP are provided by Occupational Medical Services when an employee reports an injury. If you have lost your instructions, please refer to Forms and resources, sections CA-1 or CA-2.

Step 3: After the claim is filed

If you have filed a CA-1 or CA-2 form, but have not lost time from work, it is your responsibility to provide the Department of Labor (DOL), Occupational Medical Services (OMS) as well as your office with any updated medical documentation pertaining to your injury.  Please take outside medical documentation directly to OMS.  You can request a supervisor copy of the OMS blue slip to bring to your office to ensure your supervisor is aware of any restrictions you may have. Please contact the NIH Workers’ Compensation Program at (301) 402-2669 if you do not know the status of your claim.

If you have filed a CA-1 and lost time from work, you may be eligible for a special leave category, Continuation of Pay (COP). If your COP entitlement has been exhausted and you are still disabled from returning to work, please contact the NIH Workers’ Compensation Program to further discuss the options available to you.

If you have filed a CA-2 and have lost time from work, you are NOT eligible for the special leave category, Continuation of Pay. Please contact the NIH Workers’ Compensation Program to further discuss the options available to you.

Claimant Query System (CQS): You can view your case and compensation claim status, billing updates (including reimbursements), coverage limitations, and other information online at the Web Bill Processing Portal.

Step 4: Medical care and work restrictions

If you are temporarily unable to work because of your injury, you need to keep your supervisor informed about your medical condition, and return to work as soon as your physician allows you to do so.

You should have a discussion with your supervisor about the availability of appropriate light-duty assignments during your recovery period. Your supervisor will be responsible for working with you to find duties you can perform within the limitations of your injury.

You must provide your supervisor a copy of the completed blue slip from OMS indicating any medical limitations or restrictions specified.

You are obligated to return to regular duty as soon as you are able to do so, and to avoid activities while on workers' compensation that might aggravate the injury/condition.

Supervisors

Step 1: Your employee has sustained an injury or illness at work

In the event of an injury at work, the steps that follow below should be completed by the injured employee. Once the supervisor becomes aware that an incident has occurred, he or she should ensure that the proper procedures have been followed as listed, as assist as needed:

  • Immediately initiate first aid: Contaminated skin and wounds should be washed thoroughly with soap and water for 15 minutes. If eyes or other mucous members are contaminated, they should be irrigated for 15 minutes using normal saline or water.
  • Notify your supervisor: The supervisor should be informed immediately of the incident if he/she is directly available. The supervisor should record the event in the office incident log, if applicable.
  • Report to Occupational Medical Services (OMS): OMS is located in Building 10, Room 6C306, and is open from 7:30am to 5:00pm, Monday-Friday.

OMS will provide further information on the appropriate forms to complete for compensation, if applicable.

In the event that OMS is closed, the Clinical Center Operator can be contacted at (301) 496-1211 and the on-call doctor can assist with first aid.

Step 2: Reviewing a claim using ECOMP

When an employee submits a claim in ECOMP, there is a portion which must be completed by the supervisor. You should have received an email from the Employees’ Compensation Operations & Management Portal (ECOMP) with instructions for registering to complete your portion of the form. Print this form out, sign date and attach it to the employee’s portion, and return it to NIH Workers’ Compensation within 48 hours. For help with ECOMP please refer to Forms and resources, sections CA-1 or CA-2.

Step 3: After the claim is filed

After the claim is filed it is important to discuss pertinent items with the injured employee, such as Continuation of Pay (COP) or other types of compensation if applicable. Please contact the NIH Workers’ Compensation Program for more information if needed before you have this conversation. The supervisor should receive and keep copies of any medical documentation from OMS pertaining to work restrictions on the employee. A return to work plan should be initiated as soon as possible. Please see the Return to Work button below for related resources.

Step 4: Light duty and work absence

The supervisor should remain in contact with the injured worker in order to facilitate an easy return to work. It is critical that the injured employee be brought back to work in some capacity as soon as possible. Communication through email, phone, or some combination is critical for this process. Please refer to the Return to Work button below for more information.

Contact information

If you have questions, please schedule an appointment with a specialist in the NIH Workers' Compensation Program located in Building 31 Room B3C23 MSC 2215. Call (301) 402-2669 or send an email to workerscomp@mail.nih.gov.

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