Pennsylvania Postal Workers Union

P.O. Box 4051
Lancaster, Pennsylvania 17601
Mike Stephenson ~ President
Kevin Gallagher ~ Vice President

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.

FECA / OWCP Information

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



Valid thru 02/11/2022

Extension of COVID MOUs thru 2/11/22
Extension of Liberal Leave MOU
MOU: 80 hrs paid COVID Leave for PSEs
MOU:  Liberal Leave & Change of Schedules
Full list of all COVID MOUs, agreements and other info available at apwu.org


PSEs Entitled to, up to, 80 Hours of Paid Leave For Certain COVID Situations


In March 2020, the USPS and APWU signed an agreement granting PSEs up to 80 hours of paid Administrative Leave (TACS Code 086 - Other Paid Leave) to be used to cover absences caused by specific COVID related causes.  This paid leave can be used for the following circumstances:

  • The employee has contracted COVID-19 or has been directly exposed to someone with COVID-19;

  • The employee has visited any country identified by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as a level-3 country (currently China , South Korea, Iran, Italy, and most other European countries) within 14 days of the employee returning to work;

  • The employee returns from a trip on a cruise ship in which an identified case of COVID19 was detected on board the ship;

  • The employee is experiencing symptoms generally associated with COVID -19; or

  • Consistent with the MOU Re: Temporary Expanded Sick Leave for Dependent Care During COVID-19.

In the case of emergencies and unexpected illness, the PSE must notify the appropriate postal authorities as soon as possible as to the emergency or illness, inform them that they are requesting  Administrative Leave due to COVID, the qualifying criteria that meets the requirements (listed above), and the expected duration of the absence.

As soon as possible after return to duty , PSEs must submit PS Form 3971 and explain the reason for the emergency or illness to their supervisor. Supervisors approve or disapprove the leave request.

You can show your supervisor / postmaster copies of the Admin Leave MOU and the Extension of MOUs if they push back on granting Administrative Leave.  Is they still refuse to approve the leave, contact your APWU Shop Steward.

 NOTE:  This is an extension of the existing MOU, and not a new agreement, with a new leave allowance.  PSEs who have already used the 80 hours of Administrative Leave will not be approved for more hours.  Those who did not use the leave, or have used less than 80 hours can use the remaining balance, up to a cumulative total of 80 hours.




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: https://www.ecomp.dol.gov

  •  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”

    •   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