When the processing of your CA-7 is delayed, your compensation is delayed, which in turn causes a financial hardship. By law, your Agency has five days to process your CA-7 and file it with OWCP. If you're having serious problems with your Agency processing your CA-7, I've found this works pretty well...
On your next trip out of the house, stop by your local Post Office and pick up some Delivery Confirmation or Certified Mail receipts (the choice is yours) and Priority Mail envelopes. Pick up a small stack, since it's handy to have them when you need them.
After you complete your CA-7 write the tracking number on the CA-7 you're submitting and using the Priority Mail envelope, submit the CA-7 as you normally would. If you know the name of the person you're sending your CA-7 to, make sure you put their name on both the tracking receipt AND the envelope. Make sure you write the same tracking number on each page you're submitting.
When you write the tracking number on the document, no one can come back later and say they didn't receive it, that wasn't the document submitted under that particular tracking number or that a different document was submitted under that tracking number. The tracking number now identifies the document.
After you mail the CA-7, track it online and once it's delivered, print out a copy of the delivery receipt. Now you have absolute proof, including the time, the CA-7 was received by your Agency. I've included the link to USPS Track and Confirm on the "Links" page.
If your CA-7 is not processed timely, write a letter to your Agency, but go up the "food chain". Address your letter to the supervisor, manager, department head, district director or whoever is above the person or department that processes your CA-7's. You can't expect the person or department that's creating the problem to fix the problem...so you should go above their head.
The laws that govern the processing of your CA-7 fall under The Code of Federal Regulations, known as C.F.R. and the United States Code, known as U.S.C. These are the C.F.R. and U.S.C. that apply to processing your CA-7:
"Upon receipt of Form CA-7 from the employee, or someone acting on his or her behalf, the employer shall complete the appropriate portions of the form. As soon as possible, but no more than five working days after receipt from the employee, the employer shall forward the completed Form CA-7 and any accompanying medical report to OWCP, 20 C.F.R section 10.111 Subpart B (c)."
"Whoever, being an officer or employee of the United States, charged with the responsibility for making the reports of the immediate superior specified by the FECA, 5 U.S.C. section 8120, who willfully fails, neglects, or refuses to make any of the reports, or knowing files a false report, or induces, compels, or directs an injured employee to forego filing of any claim for compensation or other benefits provided under sub-chapter I of chapter 81 of Title 5 or any extension or application thereof, or willfully retains any notice, report, claim, or paper which is required to be filed under that sub-chapter or any extension or application thereof, or regulations prescribed thereunder, shall be fined $500.00 under this title or imprisoned for not more than one (1) year, or both, 18 U.S.C. section 1922."In your letter to the Agency, state the facts; the date the CA-7 was submitted, the date the CA-7 was received and the person the CA-7 was sent to for processing (if known). Quote the C.F.R. and the U.S.C. and make a statement regarding the violation(s) your Agency has committed.
Include a copy of the CA-7 that shows the tracking number and the USPS track and confirm receipt showing the date and time the Agency received the CA-7. Send a copy of the letter, including the attachments to OWCP and the person (if known) who was in charge of processing your CA-7. Make sure all this information is included in your letter.
Every situation is different, but the body of your letter should go something like this:
On 00/00/0000 via Delivery Confirmation Number: 123-456-7890, I submitted a CA-7, Claim for Compensation to Ms. Jane Doe Injury Compensation Specialist for the period 00/00/0000 through and including 00/00/0000.
The attached USPS Track and Confirm receipt indicates the Agency received the CA-7 on 00/00/0000. It has now been eight (8) working days since the Agency received my CA-7 dated 00/00/0000 and yet the CA-7 has not been processed and sent to OWCP as required by law.
Quote the C.F.R. and U.S.C from above just as I've written them.
Immediately process my CA-7 dated 00/00/0000 or provide a legitimate, written explanation why my CA-7 Claim for Compensation will not be processed in a timely manner in violation of C.F.R section 10.111 Subpart B (c) and 18 U.S.C. Section 1922.
Sincerely,In my personal experience once I've sent this letter, the delays stop. If the problem persists, write to OWCP and request that OWCP inform your Agency of its responsibilities of processing your CA-7 and request you be able to submit your CA-7's directly to OWCP because your Agency continues to violate the C.F.R. and U.S.C. delaying your rightful compensation.
Your Phone Number
Cc: Your Claims Examiners Name
Name of the person who was supposed to process your CA-7 (if known)
Attached hereto and set forth as if fully incorporated herein:
1. CA-7 dated 00/00/0000; and
2. USPS Track and Confirm receipt, Delivery Confirmation Number: 123-456-7890