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Pay & Leave Claim Decisions

Compensation & Leave

These pages summarize the Federal process relating to claims for compensation and leave, including settlement of accounts for deceased employees. Throughout this information, "you" refers to a current or former Federal employee, "we" or "us" refers to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and "pay claim decisions" refers to decisions rendered on compensation and/or leave claims filed by current or former Federal employees.

Pursuant to the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act of 1996, most of the claims settlement functions performed by the General Accounting Office were transferred to the Director, Office of Management and Budget. See section 211 of Public Law 104-53, 109 Stat. 535. Subsequently, the Acting Director delegated these functions to various components within the Executive branch in a determination order dated July 28, 1996. In summary, this order delegated to OPM the authority to settle claims against the United States involving Federal employees' compensation and leave, deceased employees' compensation, and proceeds of canceled checks for veterans' benefits payable to deceased beneficiaries. Subsequently, Congress codified these changes through additional legislation. See Public Law 104-316, 110 Stat. 3826.

This authority was initially carried out by OPM's Office of General Counsel. However, on April 10, 2000, the adjudicative function was transferred to the Office of Merit Systems Oversight and Effectiveness, on March 3, 2003, to the Division for Human Capital Leadership and Merit System Accountability, and on January 4, 2010, to Merit System Audit and Compliance.

Regulations pertaining to this function are found in part 178 of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). Procedures for submitting claims are as follows:

  1. Content of claims. A claim shall be submitted by the claimant in writing and must be signed by the claimant or by the claimant's representative. While no specific form is required, the request should describe the basis for the claim and state the amount sought. The claim should also include:
    • The name, address, telephone number, and email address, if available, of the claimant;
    • The name, address, telephone number, and email address, if available, of the agency employee who denied the claim;
    • A copy of the denial of the claim, issued by the employing agency (i.e., agency-level decision); and,
    • Any other information, which the claimant believes OPM should consider.
  2. Agency submissions of claims. At the discretion of the agency, the agency may forward the claim to OPM on the claimant's behalf. The claimant is responsible for ensuring that OPM receives all the information requested in paragraph (a).
  3. Administrative report. At OPM's discretion, OPM may request the agency to provide an administrative report. This report should include:
    1. The agency's factual findings;
    2. The agency's conclusions of law with relevant citations;
    3. The agency's recommendation for disposition of the claim;
    4. A complete copy of any regulation, instruction, memorandum, or policy relied upon by the agency in making its determination;
    5. A statement that the claimant is or is not a member of a collective bargaining unit, and if so, a statement that the claim is or is not covered by a negotiated grievance procedure that specifically excludes the claim from coverage; and
    6. Any other information that the agency believes OPM should consider.

Negotiated grievance procedure (NGP) as exclusive administrative remedy. You must use a negotiated grievance procedure as your exclusive administrative remedy if all three of the following conditions were met at any time during the claim period. You have no right to further administrative review by OPM.

  1. You were a member of a bargaining unit (i.e., you were in a bargaining unit position),

    AND

  2. Your bargaining unit was covered by a collective bargaining agreement,

    AND

  3. Your collective bargaining agreement did not specifically exclude compensation and leave matters from the scope of the negotiated grievance procedure.

All claims under this section should be sent to the Classification and Pay Claims Program Manager, Room 6484, Merit System Audit and Compliance, Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E Street NW., Washington, DC 20415. Telephone inquiries regarding these claims may be made to 202-606-7948.

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