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
- Work did not stop until more than 45 days following the injury.
- The injury was not reported until after employment was
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
MEDICAL DOCUMENTATION IS REQUIRED FOR ALL INJURY-RELATED