Workers' Compensation Program Overview

NIH’s Workers' Compensation Programs is responsible for paying benefits to employees who are injured on the job. This includes tramatic injuries and occupational diseases. For indepth information or assistance with forms, contact a Specialist at 301-496-2404.  


  • Traumatic Injury - A wound or other condition of the body caused by external force, including stress or strain. Must be identifiable by time and place of occurrence and member of the body and must be caused by a specific event of series of events or incidents within a single day or work shift.
  • Occupational Disease - A condition produced in the work environment over a period longer than one work day or shift. May result from systemic infection, repeated stress or strain, exposure to toxins, poisons or fumes, or other continuing conditions of the work environment.
  • Performance of Duty - Coverage includes injuries that occur while on agency premises during working hours, while on the premises for a reasonable length of time before or after working hours, in agency parking facilities, on official travel, or engaged in formal or agency-sanctioned recreation. Other circumstances may be considered.

Traumatic Injury: How to Proceed

As soon as the traumatic injury occurs, report it to OMS. OMS will:
•    Triage the injury, make decisions as to severity, preliminary diagnosis, and immediate care 
•    Inform employee of next steps and forms to complete

If injury occured after tour of duty or on travel: employee may go to an emergency room for treatment but should report to OMS at the earliest time possible. 

Completed forms: 

  • Step 1: Employee submits forms to supervisor no later than 30 days from the date of injury.  
  • Step 2: Supervisor completes the forms and returns to the Workers’ Compensation Specialist within two days of receipt from the employee.  
  • Step 3: The Specialist processes the forms and notifies employee or supervisor of next steps.

Development of an Occupational Disease

Report the occupational disease to OMS.  The Workers’ Compensation Specialist will provide the employee and supervisor with appropriate forms and directions on what to do. 

Types of Compensation

  • Continuation of Pay (COP) - A special leave category which entitles employees to have their regular pay continued with no charge to their own leave for up to 45 calendar days of disability and/or medical treatment that follows an on the job injury. COP is not granted for an occupational illness.
  • Medical services - Authorized for treatment of any condition which is causally related to factors of Federal employment. Employees are entitled to all services, appliances, and supplies prescribed or recommended by qualified physicians which, in the opinion of OWCP, are likely to cure, give relief, reduce the degree or the period of compensable disability, or aid in the decrease of the amount of monthly compensation.
  • Disability Benefits- Employees who were disabled due to a work-related injury or occupational disease may be eligible for Disability Benefits. These include Temporary Disability, Loss of Wage-Earning Capacity, Schedule Awards, and other potential benefits.  Contact NIH Workers' Compensation Specialist at (301) 496-2404 with any questions regarding these benefits.
  • Death Benefits - Survivors of an employee whose death is work-related are entitled to benefits that may include compensation payments, funeral expenses, transportation for the remains, etc.