HRM: COVID-19 exposure in the workplace

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The Department of Labor Division of Federal Employees’ Compensation states that federal employees who contract the Coronavirus Disease—2019, known as COVID-19, while in performance of their job duties will have the full coverage of the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act for related medical treatment for wage loss or disability related to that condition or associated complications.  

However, exposure to COVID-19 alone does not constitute a work-related injury entitling an employee to medical treatment under the FECA. The employees must actually be diagnosed with COVID-19 to potentially be afforded coverage. To establish coverage, the employee must submit a medical report from a qualified physician reflecting a positive test result for COVID-19 based on established employment-related exposure to COVID-19.

What you need to do
First and foremost, if you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19, get tested through local channels. Contact your local health authorities for guidance.

If you think you were exposed to COVID-19 in the performance of your duties, you may file an incident and precautionary claim with the Forest Service utilizing the eSafety system. Once you have been tested and received a positive diagnosis for COVID-19, you may submit a CA-2 and the supporting medical documentation through the HRM workers’ compensation group to the Department of Labor for a determination.

Until such time as the Department of Labor makes a determination of whether or not the contraction of COVID-19 was in the performance of your duties, any costs incurred for testing are your responsibility. 

The department is the sole authority in making determinations of line of duty injuries and illnesses.

Below is a list of frequently asked questions regarding workplace exposures.
Helpful information is available on the HRM workers' compensation website.

Help Is available
Open an HR Help case:

Link to PDF version of letter.

 

https://www.fs.usda.gov/inside-fs/mail-call/hrm-covid-19-exposure-workplace