Assessing the Adequacy of the Federal Employee Compensation Act: A Study of Federal Civilian Employees Deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan

Client: Congressional Research Service
Faculty: John Donnellan
Team: Cristin Lavelle Goerke, Justine Kelly Fierro, Nicole Marshall, Joseph Polizzi
Year: 2010
Increasing numbers of federal civilian employees (FCEs) are being deployed to help aid reconstruction and intelligence operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Working side by side with troops, FCEs engage in work that can put them at similar risk for injury and mortality as uniformed military. However, in case of injury or death, the medical and workers compensation benefits FCEs receive through the Federal Employee Compensation Act (FECA) are distinctly different from the benefits military personnel receive through the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Despite some preliminary investigation by the US Government Accountability Office, the adequacy of the medical benefits and compensation received by deployed FCEs remained unclear. The Capstone team analyzed the insurance claims data from all injured and fallen FCEs to assess the adequacy of FECA, which is one of the oldest workers compensation systems in the country and was designed for domestic federal employees.