A Thank You to Our Public Servants

A federal firefighter standing on some fallen trees and debris, trying to put out a forest fire.

This May 7-13 is Public Service Recognition Week, a time to thank those in public service for all that they do to serve their communities and our country. Did you know that there are more than 2 million federal civilian employees, including: 

  • More than half a million postal service workers who deliver mail to every address in the nation

  • Nearly 400,000 Department of Veterans Affairs workers who make sure veterans, their families and survivors receive the care and benefits they need

  • More than 9,000 firefighters, many of whom help battle increasingly common large-scale wildfires 

One way my office, the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs, assists federal employees is through our Federal Employees’ Compensation Program. Known as FECA, this program adjudicates new claims for benefits, manages ongoing cases, pays medical expenses and compensation benefits to injured workers and survivors, and helps injured employees return to work when they are medically able to do so. 

Recently, we have taken several actions to better serve the federal workforce. We hired nearly 300 people to assist in processing claims faster and updated our policies to streamline benefits for federal firefighters with cancer and other occupational diseases. We also implemented a new Pharmacy Benefits Management (PBM) service to improve patient safety and increased the number of doctors available to treat injured federal workers.

While we are working hard to improve and expand access to the resources available to the federal workforce, we have already helped thousands of federal employees. We provided $2.923 billion in benefits to help federal workers replace the wages they lost during their injury and to pay for medical bills and treatment. If you’re a federal employee who has been injured or become sick on the job, we can help you, too. 

I hope you’ll join me this week in sharing appreciation for everyone in public service. To find the most up-to-date information about the FECA program or to learn more about workers’ compensation for federal employees, please call us at 202-513-6860 or visit our website


Christopher J. Godfrey is the director of the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs.