An employee who sustains a disabling job-related traumatic injury is entitled to continuation of regular pay (COP) for a period not to exceed 45 calendar days. To qualify for COP, the injured employee must file written notice of injury and claim for COP within 30 days of the injury. COP is not considered compensation and is subject to taxes and other payroll deductions. The employee must make separate claim for monetary compensation if the disability exceeds 45 days or results in any permanent disability.
Recurrence of Disability. If an employee returns to work following a work stoppage without using all 45 days of COP and then suffers a recurrence of disability within 45 days of the first return to duty, he or she should submit a completed Form CA-2a and may elect to use the remaining days of COP. See 20 C.F.R. §10.207.
For example, an employee is injured on January 1. The employing agency provides several hours of administrative leave, enabling the employee to obtain medical attention. On January 2, the employee works a full day. The employee is not disabled due to the injury until February 10, but is disabled and off work February 10, 11, and 12 and receives COP for those three days. The employee returns to work on February 13 and does not lose any further time from work due to the injury until March 17. On March 17, 18 and 19, he again loses time from work due to the disability. The 45-day period begins to run when the employee returned to work on January 2, because work stoppage occurred at the time of injury, even though it was covered by administrative leave. The employee is entitled to COP for the time lost in February, but is not entitled to COP for time lost in March, as it is more than 45 days since the first return to work.
The time limit for the use of COP is 45 days from the first return to work following the initial period of disability.