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Privacy Act Systems - DOL/ESA-43

SYSTEM NAME:

    Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, Federal Employees' Compensation Act and Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act Rehabilitation Files.

SECURITY CLASSIFICATION:

    None.

SYSTEM LOCATION:

    Rehabilitation files are located in the Federal Employees' Compensation (FEC) and Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation (Longshore) District Offices where the OWCP case file is located. See the Appendix to this document for District Office addresses. Copies of claim forms and other documents arising out of a job-related injury that resulted in the filing of a claim under the FECA may also be maintained by the employing agency (and where the forms were transmitted to the OWCP electronically, the original forms are maintained by the agency).

CATEGORIES OF INDIVIDUALS COVERED BY THE SYSTEM:

    The rehabilitation records cover either individuals covered by the Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA) for injuries on the job, or individuals covered by the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA), and related acts. See DOL/GOVT-1 for further explanation of employees covered by the FECA, and DOL/ESA-15 for those covered by the LHWCA.

CATEGORIES OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM:

    Records found in the FECA or Longshore case file (see DOL/GOVT-1 and DOL/ESA-15), notes on telephone calls and interviews with rehabilitation counselors, claimants, potential employers, physicians and others who have been contacted as part of the rehabilitation process, notes created by the rehabilitation specialist and the rehabilitation counselor concerning the rehabilitation process relating to the claimant proposed and/or approved rehabilitation plans, and reports submitted in connection with the plans. These records also contain information about covered employees' entitlement to wage-loss compensation benefits and entitlement to medical benefits and treatment, and contain information about medical and vocational testing, rehabilitation plans and the documentation supporting such plans. The records may also include other information relating to the vocational rehabilitation process under the relevant statute.

AUTHORITY FOR MAINTENANCE OF THE SYSTEM:

    5 U.S.C. 8101 et seq.; 33 U.S.C. 901, et seq,; 36 DC Code 501 et seq.; 42 U.S.C. 1331 et seq.; 5 U.S.C. 8171 et seq.

PURPOSE(S):

    These records are maintained to provide information and verification about the covered employees' work-related injuries and the vocational rehabilitation process.

ROUTINE USES OF RECORDS MAINTAINED IN THE SYSTEM, INCLUDING CATEGORIES OF USERS AND THE PURPOSES OF SUCH USES:

    In addition to those universal routine uses listed in the General Prefatory Statement to this document, disclosure of information from this system of records may be made to the following individuals and entities for the purposes noted when the purpose of the disclosure is compatible with the purpose for which the information is collected:

  1. Rehabilitation agencies, counselors, screeners, physicians and medical providers, and other persons or entities, for the purpose of providing rehabilitation services to injured workers under the FECA or LHWCA.

  2. The worker's former employer or its representatives, including third-party administrators, and where appropriate the employer's insurance carrier, for the purpose of paying compensation benefits, including medical expenses, and the cost of the rehabilitation services provided to the injured worker.

  3. Employers, including federal agencies, which may consider returning the worker to employment, or to hiring such worker as a result of the return-to-work effort conducted by OWCP during the rehabilitation process.

  4. Labor unions and other voluntary employee associations from whom the claimant has requested assistance with claims processing and adjudication and other services.

    Note: Disclosure of information contained in the file to the claimant, a person who is duly authorized to act on his/her behalf, or to others to whom disclosure is authorized by these routine uses, may be made over the telephone. Disclosure over the telephone will only be done where the requestor provides appropriate identifying information. Telephonic disclosure of information is essential to permit efficient administration and adjudication of claims.

    Note: Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(1), information from this system of records is disclosed to members and staff of the Benefits Review Board, the Employees' Compensation Appeals Board, the Office of Administrative Law Judges, the Office of the Solicitor and other components of the Department who have a need for the record in the performance of their duties.

DISCLOSURE TO CONSUMER REPORTING AGENCIES:

    None.

POLICIES AND PRACTICES FOR STORING, RETRIEVING, ACCESSING, RETAINING, AND DISPOSING OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM:

STORAGE:

    Case files are maintained in manual files, security case files in locked cabinets, and FECA or LHWCA management information system information, chargeback file and other automated data are stored on computer discs or magnetic tapes which are stored in cabinets.

RETRIEVABILITY:

    Files and automated data are retrieved after identification by coded file number, which is cross-referenced to employee by name.

SAFEGUARDS:

    Files and automated data are maintained under supervision of OWCP personnel during normal working hours--only authorized personnel may handle or disclose any information contained therein. Only personnel having security clearance may handle or process security files. After normal working hours, security files are kept in locked cabinets. All files and data are maintained in guarded Federal buildings.

RETENTION AND DISPOSAL:

    All rehabilitation files are merged with the FECA or Longshore case file (see DOL/GOVT-1 or DOL/ESA-15) at the conclusion of the rehabilitation effort and are retained consistent with the retention schedule for the case files.

SYSTEM MANAGER(S) AND ADDRESS:

    Director, Division of Planning, Policy and Standards, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20210.

NOTIFICATION PROCEDURE:

    An individual wishing to inquire whether this system of records contains information about him or her may write or telephone the OWCP District Office which services the State in which the individual resided or worked at the time the individual thinks he or she filed a claim, or the system manager. In order for a record to be located, the individual must provide his or her full name, FEC or LHWCA case number (if known), date of injury (if known), and date of birth.

RECORD ACCESS PROCEDURE:

    Individuals wishing to request access to records should contact the appropriate office listed in the Notification Procedure section, or the system manager. Individuals must furnish their name, the claim number and signature.

CONTESTING RECORD PROCEDURES:

    Individuals wishing to request amendment of any records should contact the appropriate office listed in the Notification Procedure section, or the system manager. Individuals must furnish their name, the claim number and signature. Any individual requesting amendment of records must comply with the Department's Privacy Act regulations at 29 CFR 71.1 and 71.9.

RECORD SOURCE CATEGORIES:

    Claimants, claim forms, medical reports, correspondence, investigative reports, employment reports; Federal and state agency records, any other record or document pertaining to a claimant or his dependent as it relates to the claimant's age, education, work history, marital history or medical condition; notes on telephone conversations conducted by the rehabilitation specialist or counselor with employers, medical providers and others.

SYSTEM EXEMPTED FROM CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THE ACT:

    None.