Soon after the Federal Employees' Compensation Commission came into existence, it began a campaign to improve safety and health in the Federal workplace.
In 1966, the Congress amended the Federal Employees' Compensation Act to remove the fixd dollar limits for compensation, linked benefit levels to the GS-2 and GS-15 Federal grade levels for minimum and maximum rates, respectively, and authorized cost-of-living increases.
Nonetheless, the charge-back mechanism remained a part of the administrative structure of the Federal Employees' Compensation Act and has become an established part of the overall workers' compensation program.
By 1975, the pattern of claims activity under the Federal Employees' Compensation Act was established.
The mission underlying the activities of the Federal Employees' Compensation Program on its 75th birthday may be summed up in the succinct statement that it is to return Federal workers to gainful employment through efficient and equitable claims management.
One of the more intriguing aspects of the Federal Employees' Compensation Program is that claims are handled today in much the same manner as they were in 1916.
Third, the claimant may bypass the first two procedres and proceed directly to the Employees' Compensation Appeals Board.
The Federal Employees' Compensation Program has remained basically true to its original purpose, with replacement of wages as the aim of compensation.
The 1980's witnesses a stabilization of the Federal Employees' Compensation Program and the initiation of several changes that will have long-term impacts on program operation.
Second, to improve the quality of the adjudication process and assist injured workers in returning to gainful employment, the Federal Employees' Compensation program initiated, in the mid- and late 1980's, a nurse intervention program, the payment of relocation expenses from the compensation fund for workers who can benefit from geographic relocation to obtain work, mandatory second medical opinions for certain nonemergency surgical procedures, staffing rehabilitation specialists in the district offices to coordinate and facilitate the return-to-work process, and an automated medical fee schedule to ensure that customary and reasonable fees are charged by the medical community.
Finally, one of the most controversial aspects of the Federal Employees' Compensation program has been its exclusively administrative nature.
The foregoing account is not intended to be an evaluation of the success of the Federal Employees' Compensation program.