Episode 39 Federal Workers Compensation Coffee Break Podcast- FECA Bulletin 23-03, -OWCP expands period for submitting evidence in initial claims to 60 days
FECA Bulletin 23-03
OWCP expands period for submitting evidence in initial claims to 60 days
The Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) law has some legislated changes that affect OWCP & DOL. Under Section 5305(c) of the Act, effective March 7, 2023, injured federal workers covered by the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) will now have 60 days to supply evidence in support of an initial claim. Specifically, the legislation directed the secretary of labor to amend the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA) regulations at 20 CFR 10.121 to increase the minimum time to submit supporting documentation on an initial claim from 30 to 60 days, and 2) modify the FECA procedure manual to do the same. OWCP has explained the revised regulations and changes in FECA Bulletin 23-03 that it issued on Jan. 9 of this year.
The FECA Bulletin basically says “Claimants should be aware that the expanded 60-day time frame applies only to the initial adjudication of a claim.”
The Department of Labor published a final rule in the Federal Register which became effective on March 7, 2023) amending 20 CFR 10.121 to read:
If the claimant submits factual evidence, medical evidence, or both, but OWCP determines that this evidence is not sufficient to meet the burden of proof, OWCP will inform the claimant of the additional evidence needed. You the claimant will be allowed at least 60 days to submit the evidence required.
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