Federal Employees’ Compensation Program

A Peace Corps Volunteer who sustains an injury or illness in performance of their Peace Corps service may be entitled to benefits under the Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA). The FECA, administered by the Department's Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP), provides medical, wage loss and other compensation benefits for Peace Corps Volunteers who sustain injury or illness while in the performance of duty.

Peace Corps Volunteers are considered to be in the performance of duty while abroad during the period of Peace Corps service for purposes of FECA coverage. An injury sustained outside the United States is deemed proximately caused by such service, unless the injury or illness was caused by willful misconduct, intention to bring about injury or death, or intoxication. FECA benefits may also be provided for an injury or illness present prior to entering Peace Corps service, if evidence supports that Peace Corps service contributed to a worsening of the condition.

The Peace Corps provides medical and dental care that covers all related expenses during service, including preventative care and issues incurred during training period. Until you are separated from the Peace Corps, you are encouraged to seek medical and dental care from the Peace Corps.

Current and/or returned volunteers may be eligible for workers' compensation for injuries and illnesses related to their Peace Corps service. A current and/or returned volunteer can file a claim for either a traumatic injury or an occupational disease via the Employees' Compensation Operations & Management Portal (ECOMP). There are a few instances where Peace Corps claims may vary from other FECA claims. This chart will show you the few differences based on role.

Peace Corps Claims by Role

Role Can I file a CA-1 - Claim for Traumatic Injury? Can I file a CA-2 - Claim for Occupational Disease? Can I file a CA-7 Claim for Compensation? Am I entitled to Continuation of Pay (COP) after I file my CA-1?
Current Volunteer Yes Yes No - you have to wait until after separation from service No - while you may see the option presented to you on the CA-1, you are not entitled to receive COP. 
Returned Volunteer Yes Yes Yes No - while you may see the option presented to you on the CA-1, you are not entitled to receive COP. 
Peace Corps Staff Yes Yes Yes Yes

How do I file a claim in ECOMP?

  • To file a workers' compensation claim, you must first register for an ECOMP account. ECOMP is a free web-based application. Once you register for an ECOMP account, you will be able to file either Form CA-1 Notice of Traumatic Injury or Form CA-2 Notice of Occupational Disease.

Should I file a CA-1 or a CA-2?

  • CA-1 Notice of Traumatic Injury: a traumatic injury is defined as a wound or other condition of the body caused by external force, including stress or strain. The injury must be identifiable as to time and place of occurrence and member or function of the body affected, and it must be caused by a specific work event or incident or series of work events or incidents during a single day or work shift. To file a claim for traumatic injury, you should complete a CA-1, Notice of Traumatic Injury via ECOMP.
  • CA-2 Notice of Occupational Disease: An occupational disease is defined as a condition which is produced by continued or repeated exposure to elements of the work environment over a period longer than one work day or shift. To file a claim for occupational disease, you should file a CA-2, Notice of Occupational Disease via ECOMP.

What if I am unable to file a workers' compensation claim in ECOMP?

  • The Peace Corps can file the claim on your behalf.

The Peace Corps did not forward my claim to OWCP – why?

  • If you file a workers' compensation claim, the Peace Corps may, upon reviewing 20 C.F.R. §10.110, determine whether or not to forward you claim to OWCP. If the Peace Corps forwards your claim to OWCP, a workers’ compensation case file will be created and you will receive communications regarding your claim. However, if your claim does not meet the applicable criteria delineated under 20 C.F.R. §10.110, the Peace Corps may retain your claim form and include in your Employee Medical Record in accordance with the guidelines established by the Office of Personnel Management. Specifically, under 20 C.F.R. §10.110, the Peace Corps will forward your claim to OWCP if your injury or disease is likely to result in:
    1. A medical charge against OWCP;
    2. Disability for work beyond the day or shift of injury (Note: Peace Corps volunteers are precluded by statute from receiving disability benefits prior to separation from service);
    3. The need for more than two appointments for medical examination and/or treatment on separate days, leading to time loss from work;
    4. Future disability; or
    5. Permanent impairment.

The Peace Corps retained my claim and did not forward it to OWCP but based on 20 C.F.R. §10.110, I believe my claim should be transmitted to OWCP – what should I do?

  • If your claim now meets the criteria described under 20 C.F.R. §10.110, you should contact the Peace Corps so that they can activate your claim via ECOMP and forward to OWCP. Once your claim is forwarded to OWCP, a workers' compensation case file will be created. This action to activate your claim can only be taken by the Peace Corps through ECOMP.

If I have an OWCP case, how do I submit documents via ECOMP?

  • The Peace Corps may periodically submit evidence via ECOMP to your OWCP file. This will facilitate the adjudication of your claim. You also have the ability to upload documents to your OWCP file and track receipt status via ECOMP. To do so, you should access the "ECOMP Upload Documents to Case" page for same day receipt by OWCP. You will be asked to provide your FECA case number, last name, date of birth and date of injury to upload a document. ECOMP will then provide you with a Tracking Number so that you can verify when OWCP has received your document.

If I am overseas, am I still able to file claims, submit documents, and access my case via ECOMP?

  • If you are a current volunteer on an overseas assignment or separated, you will be able to verify your identity in ECOMP by using your social security number, most recent U.S. mailing address and phone number, and other U.S. relevant information for verification. The Identity Verification tutorial video will walk you through the identity verification process in ECOMP. Verified users can file new forms or access existing case details, including medical and pharmacy benefit information. Additionally, verified users have the ability to receive and respond to DOL letters electronically without the hassle of having to leave their home. You can also see details about your case file and review all of the documents in your case. As an unverified ECOMP user, you will have limited access to information. However, unverified users may still file a new form (CA-1 or CA-2) and upload documents.

For additional information please see:

  1. Federal Employees' Compensation Act
  2. Code of Federal Regulations
  3. FECA Procedure Manual

Contacting OWCP:

  • General Telephone Inquiries:
    • For any case-specific questions, please contact the responsible Claims Examiner directly by calling (202) 513-6860 (Monday-Friday, 9:30am to 6:30pm, ET) with your FECA case file number. After you call the number, please choose option #1 to enter your case number followed by the “#” sign. You may then choose option #2 to speak to your Claims Examiner. If your Claims Examiner is not available, please be sure to leave a detailed voice message and request a call back from the Claims Examiner. The Claims Examiner will call you back within 2 workdays.
  • Accommodation Telephone Inquiries:
    • (202) 513-6802 (Monday-Friday, 9:30am to 6:30pm, ET. Dedicated line for individuals with hearing impairments)
  • Written Inquiries:
    • Send written inquiries to the following address if you are unable to upload your inquiries through the ECOMP website. Please be sure to indicate your OWCP workers' compensation case file number on each page.

      U.S. Department of Labor
      OWCP/Federal Employees Program
      P.O. Box 8311, London, KY 40742-8311