The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Office of Inspector General (OIG) published a performance audit to understand COVID-19’s impact on the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs’ (OWCP) ability to process and adjudicate claims.
According to the report, OWCP programs are experiencing delays and resource management issues as a result of increasing claims and social distancing mandates.
The report covers the following federal workers’ comp programs:
- The Division of Federal Employees Compensation (DFEC)
- The Division of Coal Mine Workers’ Compensation (DCMWC)
- The Division of Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation (DEEOIC)
- The Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation (DLHWC)
DFEC provides workers’ comp coverage to approximately 2.6 million federal and postal workers, and all federal employees who contract COVID-19 on the job are entitled to workers’ comp coverage.
As of June 16, 2020, DFEC received 2,866 total COVID-19 claims, of which:
- 1,955 are unadjudicated
- 889 were accepted
- 19 were withdrawn
- 3 were denied
DFEC estimates a total of 6,000 COVID-19 claims by August 4, 2020, and has addressed the challenges driven by COVID-19 by issuing new procedures for handling COVID-19 claims, creating a COVID-19 Task Force to oversee claims development and adjudication, and more.