What is an OWCP Schedule Award?

OWCP Schedule Awards: Compensation for Permanent Impairment

If you’re a federal employee and suffer a work-related injury that leaves a lasting impact, the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) might offer you an OWCP schedule award. This award is a financial compensation package designed to help you manage the permanent impairment caused by your injury.

How it Works:

Imagine a set list with body parts and a corresponding number of weeks assigned to each. This list, established by the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA), is the foundation of a schedule award. The idea is, if your injury permanently affects a listed body part, you’re entitled to compensation based on the severity of the impairment and the pre-determined number of weeks for that body part.

Key Points:

  • Eligible Body Parts: The schedule covers arms, legs, hands, feet, eyes, thumbs, and some other specific body parts. Injuries to the spine aren’t directly addressed, but impairments radiating to the extremities due to spine issues can be considered.
  • Impairment Rating: A doctor authorized by OWCP will assess your injury and assign a percentage of impairment. This rating is crucial, as it directly affects the size of your award.
  • Compensation Calculation: The award amount is calculated by multiplying three factors:
  • Your OWCP compensation rate (a percentage of your pre-injury salary)
  • The number of weeks assigned to the injured body part in the schedule
  • The percentage of impairment determined by the doctor

For instance, let’s say you injure your arm and the doctor assigns a 25% impairment rating. The arm has 312 weeks on the schedule. If your OWCP compensation rate is $750 per week, the calculation would be:

  • $750/week * 312 weeks * 25% impairment = $58,500

Benefits and Options:

  • Schedule awards provide financial security to help manage the long-term consequences of a work injury.
  • You might have a choice to receive the award as a lump sum or spread out over the designated number of weeks. Consider consulting a financial advisor to determine the best option for your situation.

Things to Remember:

  • Qualifying for a schedule award requires a work-related injury and a permanent impairment.
  • OWCP has specific criteria for establishing eligibility. It’s essential to navigate the claims process carefully. An attorney specializing in federal workers’ compensation can be a valuable resource.
  • The schedule award is separate from other OWCP benefits like wage replacement or medical care.


An OWCP schedule award can be a significant benefit for federal employees facing permanent limitations due to a work injury. Understanding the eligibility criteria, calculation process, and available options empowers you to make informed decisions about your claim. If you have questions or need guidance, reach out to OWCP directly or consider consulting an attorney experienced in federal workers’ compensation.