Covid Presumption added to FECA in American Rescue Plan Act of 2021
Updated: Mar 18
This is good news for federal employees who acquire Covid. The text of the provision is as follows:
SEC. 4016.ELIGIBILITY FOR WORKERS' COMPENSATION BENEFITS FOR
FEDERAL EMPLOYEES DIAGNOSED WITH COVID--19.
(a) In General.-Subject to subsection (c), a covered employee shall, with respect to any claim made by or on behalf of the covered employee for benefits under subchapter I of chapter 81 of title 5, United States Code, be deemed to have an injury proximately caused by exposure to the novel coronavirus arising out of the nature of the covered employee's employment. Such covered employee, or a beneficiary of such an employee, shall be entitled to such benefits for such claim, including disability compensation, medical services, and survivor benefits.
(b) Definitions.-In this section:
(1) COVERED EMPLOYEE.-
(A) IN GENERAL.-The term "covered employee" means an individual-
(i) who is an employee under section 8101(1) of title 5, United States Code, employed in the
Federal service at anytime during the period beginning on January 27,2020, and ending on January
(ii) who is diagnosed with COVID--19 during such period; and
(iii) who, during a covered exposure period prior to such diagnosis, carries out duties that-
(I) require contact with patients, members of the public, or co-workers; or
(II) include a risk of exposure to the novel coronavirus.
(B) TELEWORKING EXCEPTION.-The term "covered employee" does not include any employee otherwise covered by subparagraph (A) who is exclusively teleworking during a covered exposure period, regardless of whether such employment is full time or part time.
(2) COVERED EXPOSURE PERIOD.-The term "covered exposure period" means, with respect to a diagnosis of COVID--19, the period beginning on a date to be determined by the Secretary of Labor.
(3) NOVEL CORONAVIRUS.-The term "novel coronavirus"means SAR8-CoV-2 or another coronavirus declared to be a pandemic by public health authorities.
(1) DETERMINATIONS MADE ON OR BEFORE THE DATE OF ENACTMENT.-This section shall not apply with respect to a covered employee who is determined to be entitled to benefits under subchapter I of chapter 81 of title 5, United States Code, for a claim described in subsection (a) if such determination is made on or before the date of enactment of this Act.
(2) LIMITATION ON DURATION OF BENEFITS.-No funds are authorized to be appropriated to pay, and no benefits may be paid for, claims approved on the basis of subsection (a) after September 30,2030. No administrative costs related to any such claim may be paid after such date.
(d) Employees' Compensation Fund.-
(1) IN GENERAL.-The costs of benefits for claims approved on the basis of subsection (a) shall not be included in the annual statement of the cost of benefits and other payments of an agency or instrumentality under section 8147(b) of title 5, United States Code.
(2) FAIR SHARE PROVISION.-Costs of administration for claims described in paragraph (1)--
(A) may be paid from the Employees' Compensation Fund; and
(B) shall not be subject to the fair share provision in section 8147(c) of title 5, United States Code.