All employees should be wearing masks and maintaing social distancing whenever possible

You have the right under the law to file an OWCP claim for COVID-19! Do not let management discourage you from filing a claim. Do not let them tell you that you have to prove your sickness was contracted at work as this is not a requirement of the law. It is in your best interest to file for the benefits. You protect yourself and your families by doing so. If you follow the steps and have a laboratory test confirmed case of COVID-19, you will likely be approved. However, the APWU cannot guarantee claim approval.

Register for e-Comp
Video Tutorial
How to Register
Video Tutorial - How
to File a COVID Claim
Filing a COVID
OWCP claim Info Sheet
COVID Claim Fact Sheet (Dept of Labor)
DOL Instructions for Claims Adjusters
Links & Resources
APWU COVID Resources Page
PA Dept of Health COVID Resources Page

You Have the Right to File an OWCP Claim When Diagnosed with COVID-19

by Vance Zimmerman, APWU Director of Industrial Relations

       Currently, there is a spike of COVID-19 diagnosis throughout the United States. Postal Employees are not exempt from contracting COVID-19. Following national trends, there is also a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases at the Postal Service. Not knowing how COVID-19 can affect any one person whether it is a mild illness, a severe case, a case of “long” COVID-19, what the long-term effects might be, or sadly even death, it is vital that those who contract the virus understand that it is their right to apply for worker’s compensation benefits to protect themselves and their families.


If you are a postal employee, no matter if you are a career employee or non-career employee, you are entitled to file a claim with the Office of Workers Compensation Programs. The one caveat is that you must have worked at the Post Office at some point during the 21-days prior to your COVID-19 diagnosis. Employees that have claims approved are entitled to have their medical costs and lost wages paid. Approved Claimants are also entitled to request that any annual sick or annual leave used be “bought back” and redeposited to their leave balances. Also, should a postal employee pass away due to COVID19, their survivors are entitled to benefits under the compensation programs if there is an approved claim...

... In order to receive benefits, those diagnosed must submit a claim. Do not expect management to do this for you and do not expect them to inform you that you have the right to file a claim. When you file a claim for COVID-19 you are entitled to request continuation of pay (COP). This is pay at your regular rate of pay paid to you by the postal service during your COVID-19 illness absence. You are entitled to COP if you file your claim within 30-days of your diagnosis. If you are filing more than 30-days after your diagnosis, you are not entitled to COP...

...Read the full article

As with any OWCP issue, this is just a guide and resource. We cannot guarantee approval of any claim.

To file an OWCP claim and receive Continuation of Pay (COP):

  • Notify your supervisor that you are sick with COVID-19

  • Submit a PS-Form 3971 and check COP as the reason

  • Register on e-COMP if you have not done so:

  •  Once registered on e-COMP, login to your account:

    •  Click on new claim on top right of page o On next screen, make sure “Federal Employee” is selected o Make sure to select Postal Service as the agency

    •  Click “File Claim” o Click “next”

    •  Select the COVID-19 Claim and enter information requested in the online form

    •  Once requested information is entered, upload a copy of the positive laboratory COVID19 results or other relevant medical documentation

    • After uploading, make sure you select “continuation of pay”

    •  It is recommended you save a copy of your claim or at least write down the ECN number for your claim