Injured employees who undergo the National Reassessment Process (NRP) and are told by the Postal Service either that there is only partial-day work available or that there is no work available, should consider applying for unemployment compensation. This temporary financial assistance can serve as an important monetary bridge during the time that an employee is waiting for his or her OWCP compensation to be processed.
This program is formally known as the Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employee’s Program, and is administered by the states under separate agreements with the U.S. Secretary of Labor. A Postal Service employee’s entitlement to this benefit is determined by each state’s employment security laws and varies according to the individual state rules and the employee’s wage and separation history.
An injured employee whose work hours have been reduced or eliminated by the NRP should ask the Postal Service to provide them with a Form SF 8, Notice to Former Employee About Unemployment Insurance. Don’t be misled by the phrase “former employee.” The SF 8 is also used for current employees who have had their work hours reduced or eliminated. The complete instructions can be found in Chapter 550, “Unemployment Compensation,” of the Employee and Labor Relations Manual.
Health and Resource Management personnel at Postal Service headquarters have assured us that the SF 8 will be made available to injured employees who receive “Partial Day Work” or “Complete Day No Work” letters. However, the employee must ask for the form. It will not be provided automatically.
Injured employees who are provided work on an intermittent basis are issued an SF 8 only for the first time in each calendar year when they are placed in a non-pay status. However, an SF 8 is issued each time to any employee who is, or will be, placed in a non-pay status for seven or more consecutive calendar days.
To facilitate the processing of a claim for unemployment compensation, an employee should take with them the SF 8; the most recent SF 50, Notification of Personnel Action; their Social Security card; W-2 form, and a recent pay stub showing earnings and leave balance.
OWCP will pay injured employees wage loss compensation even if they are receiving unemployment compensation. OWCP does not consider this situation to be a prohibited dual payment. However, virtually every state’s unemployment compensation regulations do consider this to be a dual payment, and would expect to be reimbursed for the unemployment compensation that was paid during the same period that a person received OWCP wage loss compensation.
note: Any Postal Employee can apply for unemployment if: “An individual whose work or tours of duty are on an intermittent basis is issued an SF 8 only the first time in each calendar year that he or she is placed in a nonpay status. [e.g. suspension of more than 7 days, PTF hours reduced..]
source: American Postal Workers Union
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