Training, Regional Assistants and COVID Leave

Daleo Freeman

March 16, 2023

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Human Relations Conference

The Human Relations Conference will be held from June 12 to June 16, 2023 at the Hilton Baltimore Inner Harbor Hotel, located at 401 W. Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. Guests should plan to arrive on June 12 and depart on June 16.

For additional information on registration, hotel booking, and schedules, visit:

Regional Resource Assistants

The APWU has established a Regional Resource Assistant (RRA) training program for issues related to the Office of Workers Compensation Programs (OWCP) and on-the-job injuries.

Twenty APWU members were recommended by their local presidents and have officially been appointed as RRAs by APWU National President Mark Dimondstein.

The Injury Compensation Basic Training Program provided by the Department of Labor (DOL) equips the nationally appointed RRAs with the knowledge and tools needed to assist locals nationwide in order to provide proper advice and effective assistance to workers within the APWU family. All APWU RRAs will have gone through the formal training and certification processes provided by the DOL to deliver effective and knowledgeable training on those specific issues.

The RRAs will provide training sessions and presentations to local, state, and regional union offices (including members at local union meetings) for issues related to on-the-job injuries and OWCP upon request.

Local, state, and regional offices may request RRA training sessions by contacting Human Relations Director Daleo Freeman at: Members should contact their local/ state union representatives for all issues related to OWCP.

APWU Regional Resource Assistants:

  • Adam Souza
  • Ashley Sorensen
  • Coleen Maxwell
  • Don Stein
  • George Harris
  • Gabriel Medinna
  • J. Renee Bost
  • Jennifer Fulbright
  • Joe McCrary
  • Keith Combs
  • Kevin Meyer
  • Lana Harris
  • Passion Walker
  • Richard Manifold
  • Rosemary Gladden
  • Roxanne Heckman
  • Teresa Hamilton
  • Tina Marie-Stafford

New FECA Procedures for COVID-19 Cases

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), which protected federal workers who contracted COVID-19 (COVID), expired on Jan. 27, 2023. We are providing the following information to members on the new procedures for COVID-related workers’ compensation (OWCP) claims through the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA).

Under the ARPA, postal workers who tested positive for COVID were presumed to have contracted the illness while at work. OWCP claims were processed through the DOL by submitting form CA-1, Notice of Traumatic Injury, which allows for Continuation of Pay (COP) benefits.

For workers who test positive for COVID after Jan. 27, the DOL has announced procedures for processing OWCP claims in FECA Bulletin 23-02, available online.

In most instances, OWCP claims for COVID should be filed on form CA-2, Notice of Occupational Disease (unless the worker is capable of positively identifying their exposure to a single event or work shift). There is no entitlement to COP in an occupational disease claim. Claims for wage-loss benefits should be filed by a CA-7 with the DOL. Claims for COVID benefits based on testing after Jan. 27 and filed on a CA-1 will be administratively converted to a form CA-2, and COP will be denied. Workers will receive written notice regarding such conversions. Employees will initially need to use their own leave until the claim is approved.

For claims based on positive testing after Jan. 27, workers will have to establish all five essential elements of OWCP entitlement to include a causal relationship, which is established by providing a physician’s reasoned medical opinion that a positively-tested COVID diagnosis was attributable to work place exposure. 

(Reference: FECA Bulletin No. 23-02. – Dec. 15, 2022)

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