The Government Accountability Office has recommended the Defense Department to communicate with the Labor Department and monitor Federal Employees’ Compensation ActÂ claims-management actions timelines to identify areas in whichÂ delays may occur.
A GAOÂ published ThursdayÂ says 47,340 DoD civilian employees covered 17 percent of FECA’s claimants in 2015 with 56 percent of the total-disability beneficiaries at or aboveÂ theÂ full Social Security Retirement age.
GAO noted 35 percent of the total beneficiaries received only medical benefits andÂ 31 percentÂ gotÂ cash payments for injury or death, including the 20 percent that were givenÂ partial- or total-disability benefits.
Auditors addedÂ that interviewed DoD FECA officials such asÂ program managers, injury compensation specialists and liaisons blamedÂ perceived delays with receipts of decisions from DOL despite having access to the latter’s data for FECA management.
DOLÂ said that some determinations on the return of employees to work could take months to process because ofÂ the amount of information and communication required between employing agencies, injured employees and other parties.
Monitoring timelines could help DoD identify the extent of and the nature of problems that affect delays on return-to-work efforts as well as work to update the system and gather information to communicate such issues with DOL, GAO added.