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How to Claim for Compensation


Compensation is payable by OWCP to injured employees who have an accepted on-the-job injury. If you are a limited duty employee you can file for compensation by filling out form CA-7. You are entitled to compensation if you are receiving therapy, have a doctor’s appointment (due to your on the job injury), are totally disabled (or partially disabled and the Postal Service does not provide suitable limited duty).


If you missed work prior to your claim being accepted due to your work related condition, you may be entitled to “Leave Buy Back.” An employee who suffers a compensable job related injury that necessitates an absence from work may use annual and/or sick leave to avoid an interruption of pay while awaiting adjudication of your claim. You can no longer buy back leave after your claim has been accepted. For example, if your claim were accepted on 1/29/09, and you have a doctor appointment on 2/14/2009 and use sick leave, you cannot buy back your sick leave for 2/14/09.


The forms that you will need to buy back your leave are the following:


CA-7 Claim for Compensation

CA-7a Time Analysis Form

Ca-7b Leave Buy Back work sheet/certification and Election

Medical Documentation

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3971 form


Claims for leave buy back must be made within 1 year of the date the OWCP approves the claim for compensation, or 1 year from the date of return to work, whichever is later.


Please be advised that OWCP determines entitlement to compensation benefits and they will also determine if you have an acceptable claim for leave buy back. If your claim for leave buy back is accepted, OWCP will forward the compensation rate of leave period to the USPS Accounting Service in Eagan, MN. You will then be responsible for payment of the difference between the compensation rate and the gross amount.

If you would like to receive compensation from DOL after your claim has been accepted, you will have to be in a LWOP status. If you have filed a CA1 and are receiving COP, you will have to be in LWOP for disability status after your 45 days of COP, in order to claim compensation.


The following forms will have to be submitted to receive compensation:


CA-7 Claim for Compensation

Ca-7a Time Analysis

Medical documentation

Clock rings

3971 form


Lack of acceptable medical documentation will preclude the acceptance of your claim for leave buy back and/or compensation. Medical documentation must cover all hours for which the claim is made.


You must submit all of your documentation for compensation to your local Injury Compensation Office or to the supervisor/manager in your Post Office. You should also sign your forms on the day that you submit your claim for compensation.

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