Home| Postal News | Your Rights |Craft Resources |  Links |About | What's New Search| Letters to Editor

Your Rights-Scheduled Awards

 Injured on Duty Information

 

       Do You Know about SCHEDULED AWARDS?

What is a schedule award? Not many of us have heard of this before. It's a little known benefit, which is available from the Department of Labor.

Schedule awards are compensation provided for specified periods of time for the permanent loss, or loss of use, of certain parts and functions of the body. Partial loss or loss of use of these parts and functions is compensated on a proportional basis.

This means, if you suffer permanent disability, you may qualify for a schedule award. If you suffer from more than one disability, you may qualify for other schedule awards (a one-time lump sum for each).

Compensation Schedule:
The following is a table which shows the number of weeks payable for each schedule member if the loss or loss of use of the function or part of the body is total:

Member

Weeks ( x your pay)

Member

Weeks ( x your pay)

Arm

312

Loss of hearing - monaural

52

Leg

288

Loss of hearing - binaural

200

Hand

244

Breast

52

Foot

205

Kidney

156

Eye

160

Larynx

160

Thumb

75

Lung

156

First finger

46

Penis

205

Great toe

38

Testicle

52

Second finger

30

Tongue

160

Third finger

25

Ovary (including Fallopian Tube)

52

Toe other than great toe

16

Uterus/cervix

205

Fourth finger

15

Vulva/vagina

205

Compensation for loss of binocular vision or for loss of 80 percent or more of the vision of an eye is the same as for loss of the eye. The degree of loss of vision or hearing for a schedule award is determined without regard to correction; that is, improvements obtainable with use of eyeglasses and hearing aids are not considered in establishing the percentage of impairment.

The law contains no provision for payment of a schedule award on account of permanent impairment to the back, heart or brain. There are also payment provisions for partial disability. This must be thoroughly documented by a qualified physician.

Medical Evidence Required:
Before payment of a schedule award can be considered, the condition of the affected part of the body must reach maximum improvement. This determination involves a medical judgment that the condition has permanently stabilized.

Please obtain medical evaluations from a specialist or most qualified doctor to treat your condition to avoid denial of your claim, and make sure the doctor's statements are extremely thorough,. In most cases the percentage of impairment is determined in accordance with the American Medical Association's Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, and the evaluation on which the award is based must conform to the guidelines set forth in that publication (see chart above).

Claim and Payment:
If a claim for wage loss has not previously been submitted, Form CA-7 (Claim for Compensation on Account of Traumatic Injury/Occupational Disease) may be used to initiate a claim for schedule award. Otherwise, consideration may be requested by narrative letter. Compensation for schedule awards is computed by multiplying the indicated number of weeks times 66 2/3 percent (without dependents) or 75 percent (with dependents) of the pay rate (see paragraph (1) above for more information concerning dependents).

Decision:
When a schedule award is issued, the employee and agency will be notified of the length of the award (in number of weeks or days), the starting date of the award (the date of maximum medical improvement), the pay rate on which benefits are computed, and the compensation rate.

The decision will include a description of the employee's appeal rights should he or she disagree with any element of the decision.

Schedule awards can be paid even if the employee returns to work. Employees may not, however, receive wage loss compensation and schedule awards benefits concurrently for the same injury.

If an employee sustains a period of temporary total disability during the course of the award, it may be interrupted to pay the period of disability; the schedule award will resume afterwards. If an employee dies during the course of a schedule award from causes unrelated to the compensable injury, his or her dependents are entitled to the balance of the award at the rate of 66 2/3 percent.

Questions and Answers about the Federal Employees' Compensation Act (Pamphlet CA-550). Handbook for injured workers, dealing with Schedule Awards (sec 98-102):

Q. If as the result of employment, an employee suffers permanent disability involving loss or loss of use of a member, function, or organ of the body such as an arm, foot, lung, or loss of vision or hearing, is he or she entitled to compensation for impairment, in addition to compensation for wage loss?

A. The FECA provides a schedule of payments for the loss or loss of use of specified members, functions and organs of the body. The schedule award is paid when the medical evidence establishes that the schedule part of the body has reached maximum medical improvement. It is paid on the same basis that wage loss compensation is paid, i.e., at two-thirds or three-fourths of the employee's pay rate.

Q. Can schedule award payments be made while an employee is working?

A. Yes. Payment is made for a specified number of weeks even if the individual returns to regular work at full pay. Schedule awards may also be paid while an employee is receiving sick or annual leave pay, drawing Civil Service Retirement benefits, working for private industry, or is self-employed. They may not be paid, however, while an employee is receiving compensation benefits for wage loss for the same injury.

Q. Can a schedule award be paid on the basis of permanent impairment of the brain, heart, or back?

A. No. These parts of the body are specifically excluded from schedule award consideration under 5 U.S.C. 8l01 (20). Compensation is paid, however, for wage loss resulting from such impairment.

Q. What happens if an employee suffers disfigurement as a result of a work injury?

A. In cases where an employee suffers injury to the face, neck, or head, and disfigurement results, the FECA provides for payment of an award of compensation not to exceed $3500 if the disfigurement will likely be a handicap in securing or maintaining employment. Such awards are considered for seriously disfiguring scars and deformities.

Q. Specifically, what is the schedule of payments for permanent impairment of the various extremities, organs and body functions?

A. Compensation is provided for specified periods of time for the permanent loss, or loss of use, of certain parts and functions of the body. Partial loss or loss of use of these parts and functions is compensated on a proportional basis.

Basic steps in processing Scheduled Awards (S/A) at the Department of Labor:

Receive the CA-7 from claimant.

Review the case to determine the appropriateness of S/A processing.

Send appropriate development letter to claimant.

Review incoming exam report from claimant's physician for completeness.

Send case file to Office Medical Advisor for a rating of percentage.

Set-up, key and verify the S/A payment.

Send CA-181 letter to claimant and agency explaining the S/A and appeal Rights. If you feel you are entitled to a Schedule Award, please fill out the CA-7 and see your physician immediately. The Department of Labor has an Employees' Compensation automated Information Line, if you wish to check on your claim.