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NOAA Workforce Management Office

Serving NOAA's Most Valuable Asset - People

Federal Workers’ Compensation

Questions about workers’ compensation at NOAA can be directed to Managed Care Advisors (MCA).
MCA can be reached on 1-844-DOC-CLAIM (1-844-362-2524) or

Traumatic Injuries (CA-1s)

When an employee is injured on duty and the injury did not occur over more than one work day/shift:

Filing a Workers' Compensation Claim

To file a new workers' compensation claim, please contact NOAA's workers' compensation contractor, MCA on 1-844-DOC-CLAIM
(1-844-362-2524) or Claims should be initiated through ECOMP (please use Chrome or Internet Explorer, not Mozilla), the web-based system managed by the Department of Labor (DOL).

For assistance with using ECOMP, please contact MCA at the above-referenced number or visit the ECOMP homepage at: Under the "Help" section on the left side of the homepage, DOL has provided brief trainings on how to use ECOMP:

Additional ECOMP references are provided at the end of this webpage.

Please Note: Your Line/Staff Office will be billed for all medical charges related to the workers' compensation claim as well as compensation paid to your employee for the time they are unable to work.

Types of Workers' Compensation Claims: CA-1 vs. CA-2

  1. A traumatic injury is defined as an injury that occurs during the course of one work shift. The appropriate form to file is a CA-1, Federal Employee's Notice of Traumatic Injury and Claim for Continuation of Pay/Compensation.
  2. An occupational illness is defined as a condition that arises over the course of more than one work shift. The appropriate form to file is a CA-2, Notice of Occupational Disease and Claim for Compensation.

Both the CA-1 and the CA-2 can be completed electronically using ECOMP: If you have any questions, please contact NOAA's workers' compensation claims contractor, MCA on 1-844-DOC-CLAIM (1-844-362-2524) or

Continuation of Pay (COP)

Federal workers' compensation provides that an employee's regular pay may continue for up to 45 calendar days due to disability and/or medical treatment after a traumatic injury. This 45-day period is known as COP. The intent of the COP provision is to avoid interruption of the employee's income while the workers' compensation case is being adjudicated by DOL. COP is not considered compensation and is therefore subject to the usual deductions from pay, such as income tax and retirement allotments. In other words, COP is similar to annual or sick leave in that it is paid time off, except that COP does not get deducted from the employee's personal leave balance. If the 45-day period ends and the employee remains disabled from work, the employee may apply for compensation with DOL (via a CA-7 in ECOMP) or use personal leave.

The WebTA code for COP is “OWCP Injury Leave.” This code should not be used in WebTA after the end of the official COP period as calculated by MCA. After the COP period ends, the employee can use “LWOP w/OWCP” on the WebTA and file a CA-7 with DOL to be paid by them during this Leave Without Pay.

**It is important to note that COP can only be used when an employee files a CA-1 for a traumatic injury.

A supervisor may authorize COP for up to 10 work days, while awaiting medical evidence to support disability from work although it is recommended that the supervisor consult with MCA prior to doing so. All COP beyond 10 days must be authorized by MCA (1-844-362-2524 or and must be supported by medical evidence. The supervisor will be notified by MCA regarding entitlement to COP.

Further information about Continuation of Pay can be found in Chapter 5 of the CA-810, Injury Compensation for Federal Employees:

Returning the Employee To Work

One of the most important actions a supervisor can take when an employee is injured is to maintain contact with the employee even if the employee is temporarily disabled from work. Maintaining contact with the employee lets the employee know that the supervisor expects to receive regular work status updates from the employee and that the supervisor is willing to assist the employee with returning to work as soon as the employee is medically cleared to do so. Employees should not receive workers' compensation when they could be working. It is up to NOAA managers to control workers' compensation costs by returning employees to work as soon as possible. The best time to do this is when the employee is in the first year of recovery.

If a supervisor feels that an employee is able to return to work but is not doing so on their own initiative, the supervisor should contact NOAA's Return to Work Initiative Program Manager, Jennifer Heyob,, to assist in making a return to work offer to the employee. The offer must include specific information and terms, so the supervisor should always receive assistance in this area from WFMO.

Once an injured employee is cleared by their doctor to return to work, the employee returns to the position held when injured, if possible. The physician may provide limits on what the employee is able to do (e.g. sit for no more than 50 minutes without a break). The supervisor should make every effort to return the employee to work despite any restrictions. For NOAA, it is always financially beneficial to have an employee working rather than not working and receiving compensation. Light duty or limited duty should be considered as options if an employee cannot return to performing all of the physical aspects of the position. This may mean temporarily modifying the employee's duties either to eliminate that job requirement or to find alternate means for carrying it out within the physical restrictions. It also may mean starting the employee at limited hours (e.g., 4 hours per day) and then slowly increasing the number of hours worked over a number of days or weeks.

If an employee’s injury leaves them unable to perform their previous position, then the employee should be placed in a position they can perform, even if it is a lower-paying position. DOL will pay the employee the difference between the two positions, although that cost is charged back to NOAA. If this situation occurs, please contact Jennifer Heyob on to discuss reassignment to a new position.


ECOMP References:

Workers' Compensation References:

NOAA Employee and Labor Relations Division

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Page last edited: December 21, 2017

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