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President Barack Obama’s 2014 budget proposal sent to Congress on Wednesday calls for reforms to two federal workers compensation programs: the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act and the Defense Base Act.

According to the story on the Business Insurance website, the White House is proposing to act on longstanding recommendations by the Government Accountability Office and other federal organizations by converting retirement-age FECA beneficiaries to a “retirement annuity-level benefit.” FECA currently creates an incentive for federal employees injured on the job to continue receiving its benefits beyond their retirement age, according to the budget proposal.

“In addition, while state workers compensation systems have waiting periods for benefits to discourage less serious claims, FECA has a three-day waiting period for non-postal employees that is imposed too late in the claims process to be effective,” the proposal states.

The proposed changes also would impose a new up-front waiting period for FECA benefits and give the U.S. Department of Labor “additional tools to reduce improper payments.” The budget proposal does not provide specifics, but the FECA changes would save more than $500 million over 10 years, it says.

The president’s proposal also would replace the current Defense Base Act program with a governmentwide benefit fund that would bill individual federal agencies for their workers comp insurance costs. The DBA provides benefits for contract overseas workers on U.S. military bases and for workers on overseas public works projects.Under the DBA’s current structure, federal agencies pay for their insurance through a “patchwork” of individual contracts, and its costs now exceed benefits paid “by a significant margin,” according to the budget proposal. The proposal points out that the DBA’s caseload increased by nearly 2,600% from 2002 to 2011, with more than 11,600 claims filed in 2011.