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Continuation of Pay

Continuation of pay (COP) is an Office of Workers’ Compensation Program (OWCP) entitlement that allows the continuation of an employee’s regular pay by the employing agency for a maximum of 45 days with no charge to sick or annual leave. It is given only in traumatic injury cases (not for occupational disease or recurrence). In order to qualify for COP, an injured employee must have a traumatic injury, complete and submit a Form CA-1 within 30 days of the date of the injury and begin losing time from work due to the traumatic injury within 45 days of the injury.

  • An employee should be granted COP if all qualifications are met. If in the future, OWCP denies the COP or the claim, the supervisor should contact the employee and request a leave slip to cover that period of time. COP will be changed on the employees leave record to LWOP, sick or annual leave based on what the employee elects. An employee is not entitled to COP if the agency successfully controverts a claim. To controvert means to dispute, challenge, or deny the validity of a claim. The agency should controvert a COP election when:
    • The disability was not caused by a traumatic injury.
    • A person is serving without pay or with nominal pay.
    • The employee is not a citizen of the United States or Canada.
    • The injury occurred off the employing agency's premises and was otherwise not within the performance of official duties.
    • The injury was caused by the employee's willful misconduct, intent to injure or kill himself or herself or another person, or was caused by intoxication by alcohol or illegal drugs.
    • No written claim was filed within 30 days from the date of injury.
    • Work did not stop until more than 45 days following the injury.
    • The injury was not reported until after employment was terminated.
    • The employee is enrolled in the Civil Air Patrol, Peace Corps, Job Corps, Youth Conservation Corps, Work Study Program, or other groups covered by special legislation.
  • Once COP begins, the agency may terminate it if:
    • The employee fails to provide medical evidence of a disabling traumatic injury within 10 workdays of claiming COP, (the supervisor may waive the requirement if satisfied that the employee sustained a disabling injury). COP may be retroactively reinstated if evidence is received later and supports the disability.
    • The injured employee's physician found the employee to be partially disabled and the employee refuses suitable work, or fails to respond to a job offer within five workdays.
    • The injured employee's scheduled period of employment expires, or employment is otherwise terminated, so long as the date of termination or period of employment is established before the date of injury.
    • OWCP notifies the agency that pay should be terminated.
  • Supervisor's Responsibility in COP cases - Once a supervisor learns of a traumatic injury sustained by an employee, he/she shall:
    • Provide the employee with the CA-1 and CA-16 (An injured employee must obtain Form CA-16 from his/her CSA or HR Specialist).
    • Advise the employee of the right to receive COP, and the need to elect among COP, annual or sick leave or leave without pay for any period of disability.
    • Advise the employee of the required time frames for filing CA-1 (30 days to be eligible for COP and 3 years to have a valid claim).
    • Inform the employee of any decision to controvert COP and/or terminate pay, and the basis for doing so.
    • Submit CA-1 along with all other available pertinent information (including the basis for any controversion) within 10 working days after receipt from the employee to the Command Staff Advisor (CSA), Humans Resource (HR) Specialist or OWCP Liaison, who will then process to OWCP.
  • Timekeeper’s Responsibility in COP cases - The timekeeper should work with the employee, supervisor and local CSA or HR Specialist to correctly enter COP.
    • COP is coded as OWCP Injury Leave in WebTA
    • The Employee should provide medical documentation for each day of absence related to the on the job injury.
  • Calculation of COP - COP is payable for a maximum of 45 calendar days, and every day used is counted toward this maximum. The following rules apply:
    • Time lost on the day or shift of the injury does not count toward COP. Administrative leave should be used on the date of the injury.
    • The first COP day is the first day disability begins following the date of injury (providing it is within the 45 days following the date of injury), except where the injury occurs before the beginning of the work day or shift, in which case the date of injury is charged to COP.
    • Any part of a day or shift (except for the day of the injury) counts as a full day toward the 45 calendar day total (i.e. an employee takes 2 hours off for a doctor’s appointment for a traumatic injury, the time card reflects the proper code for 2 hours of COP, but for counting COP the employee has used 1 full calendar day).
    • Regular days off are included if COP has been used on the regular work day immediately preceding or following the regular day(s) off, and medical evidence supports disability (i.e. an employee's regular work schedule is Monday through Friday, he/she is currently on COP and the doctor has said the employee needs 5 days bed rest. It is Tuesday, although the 5th day will be that Saturday, it is counted against his/her 45 days of COP. The time card will reflect COP only for Tuesday - Friday, but the 5th day, Saturday, was also used).
    • Leave used during a period when COP is otherwise payable is counted toward the 45-day COP maximum as if the employee had been in a COP status.
    • For an employee with a part-time or intermittent schedule, all calendar days on which medical evidence indicates disability are counted as COP days, regardless of whether the employee was or would have been scheduled to work on those days.
  • Compensation - Once COP expires, if an employee was never entitled to COP or is in LWOP status, the employee will receive compensation for wage loss following a 3 day waiting period.
    • 66 2/3% rate of the employee's regular pay if the employee has no dependents or
    • 75% rate of the employee's regular pay if the employee has dependent(s)