Division of Federal Employees' Compensation (DFEC)
Guidance on FECA Coverage for Ebola
A federal employee who gets Ebola while in performance of their job duties would have the full coverage of the FECA for related medical treatment and for wage loss or disability related to that condition or associated complications.
However, pursuant to 20 C.F.R. § 10.303, exposure to Ebola alone does not constitute a work-related injury entitling an employee to medical treatment under the FECA. The employee must actually be diagnosed with Ebola to potentially be afforded coverage.
Likewise, the FECA does not authorize payment for provision of preventive measures such as quarantines. In general, preventive treatment is a responsibility of the employing agency under the provisions of 5 U.S.C. § 7901.
In this country, we would expect front line cases to involve federal medical personnel. Certain federal employees assigned to certain positions and locations overseas may experience a heightened risk of Ebola. A claim for FECA benefits may require evidence of unique or heightened risk of contracting such disease due to the employee's position or post of assignment. Such evidence will be a relevant factor in establishing the relationship between the overseas employment and a claim related to this infectious disease. Because of the exigent circumstances attendant to such employment and the inherent challenges to obtaining supporting medical evidence, OWCP will contact the employee in writing to explain what is needed and may grant additional time to obtain medical evidence. If the employee needs additional assistance, he/she may request assistance from the employing agency, particularly if there are unusual factual or medical circumstances surrounding the claim. For additional guidance, see http://www.dol.gov/owcp/dfec/regs/compliance/Information-for-Employees-on-Overseas-Assignments.htm
This is an evolving situation. Employing agencies may contact OWCP DFEC's Branch of Technical Assistance for guidance relating to specific claims or coverage issues.
Note: OWCP plans to create a new injury code series used solely to report injuries attributed to federal employment for Ebola.