The attorneys, paralegals, and support staff of Division of Federal Employees' and Energy Workers' Compensation (FEEWC) are responsible for providing a variety of legal services to the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP) with regard to several benefit programs it administers.
- FEEWC supports OWCP's work under the Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA), which turned 100 years old on September 7, 2016. FECA provides benefits, including income support and medical care, to those Federal employees who are injured on the job and to survivors of Federal employees who have died as a result of a work injury or exposure;
- Every day, employees in FEEWC protect the privacy of claimant personal information, including medical information under the Privacy Act; and
- The FECA Subrogation Unit recovers millions of dollars every year for the entire Federal government by effectively administering the subrogation provisions of FECA (attempting to recover damages from a third party), including a 2016 case in which the Unit worked with the Assistant United States Attorneys' Office to recover almost $100,000 from an attorney who failed to reimburse the United States (United States v. Eisenberg, 149 F.Supp.3d 71, (D.D.C. 2015)).
- FECA provides workers' compensation coverage to three million federal and postal workers around the world for employment-related injuries and occupational diseases. FEEWC also administers the subrogation provisions of FECA on behalf of OWCP so that when an employee is injured by a third party - a person other than the United States - the United States can offset some of the benefits it has paid with regard to the injury.
- Part B of the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA) compensates current or former employees (or their survivors) of the Department of Energy (DOE), its predecessor agencies, and certain of its vendors, contractors and subcontractors, who were diagnosed with a radiogenic cancer, chronic beryllium disease, beryllium sensitivity, or chronic silicosis, as a result of exposure to radiation, beryllium, or silica while employed at covered facilities. Part B also provides compensation to individuals (or their eligible survivors) awarded benefits by the Department of Justice under Section 5 of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA). Part E of the EEOICPA compensates DOE contractor and subcontractor employees, eligible survivors of such employees, and uranium miners, millers, and ore transporters as defined by RECA Section 5, for any illnesses that are causally linked to work-related exposures to toxic substances at a DOE facility or uranium mine or mill.
- The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) is a limited waiver of sovereign immunity that authorizes payment of claims for money damages against the United States for negligent acts or omissions of its employees acting within the scope of their employment in circumstances where a private party would be liable under state law. Just as one example, where a Department of Labor employee negligently strikes a parked car while driving to a business meeting, the FTCA authorizes payment of a claim for damage to the vehicle filed by the owner of the car. Please note that the government is not responsible under the FTCA for the torts of its contractors. The FTCA also contains certain explicit exceptions that preclude liability.
- The Military Personnel and Civilian Employees' Claims Act (MPCECA) authorizes payment of claims made by employees of the Department of Labor for damage or loss to property used incident to service with the Department. For example, a DOL employee on travel whose briefcase was damaged may seek reimbursement under the MPCECA as long as the damage was not due to the employee's negligence.
- The War Hazards Compensation Act (WHCA) provides reimbursement to insurers of contractors covered by the Defense Base Act (DBA) for both benefit and administrative costs resulting from an injury or death caused by a "war risk hazard." The WHCA also provides for direct payments to DBA and certain other employees as a result of their detention by a "hostile force or person" and direct payments to certain employees who are injured as a result of a war risk hazard and are not covered by the DBA or not payable under the DBA.
What We Do
FEEWC consists of three permanent units:
- The Claims and Compensation Unit, managed by the Counsel for Claims, prepares and provides formal and informal legal advice concerning FECA, reviews and drafts legislative and regulatory proposals, represents the Director of OWCP before the Employees' Compensation Appeals Board and the Office of Administrative Law Judges, and provides assistance to the Department of Justice in representing the Department before the courts in connection with FECA. The Unit provides legal advice to OWCP concerning the War Hazards Compensation Act. The Unit also adjudicates claims under the FTCA and the MPCECA.
- The Energy Unit, managed by the Counsel for Energy Employees Compensation, is responsible for legal advice to OWCP with respect to EEOICPA. Attorneys in the Unit prepare and provide formal and informal legal advice and draft and review legislative and regulatory proposals. The Unit is also responsible for assisting the Department of Justice in defending any suits arising under EEOICPA.
- The FECA Subrogation Unit, managed by the Counsel for FECA Subrogation, is responsible for protecting the subrogation interest of the United States in judgments and settlements obtained by FECA beneficiaries as a result of FECA covered injuries. Paralegal Specialists in the Unit are responsible for monitoring litigation and providing information and assistance with respect to cases in which FECA benefit recipients have received (or will likely receive) a recovery from a third party who caused their work-related injury or illness and seeing that an appropriate part of recovery received by a FECA beneficiary is refunded to the United States and/or credited against future benefits.
DOL Agencies Supported
- Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, Division of Federal Employees' Compensation (DFEC)
- Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, Division of Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation (DEEOIC).
- All DOL agencies for purposes of FTCA.
Position for Students
FEEWC utilizes the Pathways program to employ students in paralegal specialist positions in our FECA Subrogation Unit. Please go to www.usajobs.gov/StudentsAndGrads to find out if there are any current vacancies!
If you need information on filing a claim for benefits, please go to www.dol.gov/agencies/owcp/owcpkeyp for contact information for all of OWCP's programs.
For Information on filling an FTCA or MPCECA claim, please go to www.dol.gov/agencies/sol/divisions/federal-employees-energy-workers-compensation/claims-information
200 Constitution Ave NW
Washington, DC 20210
Thomas G. Giblin
Deputy Associate Solicitor
Counsel for Claims and Compensation
Counsel for Energy Employees Compensation
Sheldon G. Turley, Jr.
Counsel for FECA Subrogation
Management and Program Analyst