U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Sep 26, 2022

§ 15.100 - What claims against the Department are covered by the FTCA?

(a) The FTCA is a limited waiver of sovereign immunity that allows claims for money damages against the Department for negligent acts or omissions of its employees acting within the course and scope of their employment. Subject to the exception set forth in paragraph (b) of this section, all such claims against the Department should be handled under the procedures in this subpart.

(b) In instances where a third party has agreed to insure the Federal government, such as under a U.S. Government Car Rental Agreement, claimants are required to pursue those claims in accordance with such agreements.

§ 15.101 - Who may file an administrative claim under the FTCA against the Department?

(a) A claim for the injury to or loss of property may be presented by the owner of the property, his or her duly authorized agent, or his or her legal representative.

(b) A claim for personal injury may be presented by the injured person, his or her duly authorized agent, or his or her legal representative.

(c) A claim for death may be presented by the executor or administrator of the decedent's estate or by any other person legally entitled to assert such a claim in accordance with applicable State law.

(d) A claim presented by an agent or legal representative shall be presented in the name of the claimant, be signed by the agent or representative, show the title or legal capacity of the person signing and be accompanied by evidence of his or her authority to present a claim on behalf of the claimant as agent, executor, administrator, parent, guardian, or legal representative.

(e) Only claims involving alleged acts or omissions of Department employees (including Job Corps students) should be presented to the Department.

§ 15.102 - May an insurance company file an FTCA administrative claim on behalf of a claimant?

(a) A claim for loss wholly compensated by an insurance company may be presented by that company.

(b) A claim for loss partially compensated by an insurance company may be presented by the company or the insured individually, in accordance with their respective interests or jointly. It should be noted, however, that if the insurance company claims only part of the insured's interests, an acceptance of that claim may bar any additional claim by the insured for damages beyond that claimed by the insurance company as such acceptance would be in full and final settlement of all such claims arising out the incident that gave rise to the claim as described in § 15.110(b).

(c) If the claimant is directly compensated by the Department for medical bills under this subpart, the claimant may be required to reimburse his or her insurance company in accordance with the terms of his or her insurance policy if the company has already paid those bills.

(d) Whenever an insurance company presents a claim on behalf of the insured (such as a claim for an auto loss that includes the deductible), it shall present with its claim appropriate evidence that it has the rights of a subrogee, such as a copy of the signed policy.

§ 15.103 - May an agent or legal representative file an FTCA administrative claim on behalf of a claimant?

(a) An agent or legal representative may file a claim on behalf of a claimant.

(b) Representative's fees are limited to not more than 20 percent of the amount paid for a claim settled in an administrative claim, and to not more than 25 percent of a judgment or settlement award after litigation is initiated. 28 U.S.C. 2678.

(c) If a representative is dismissed from representing a claimant before the claim is resolved, the representative may not place a lien on the claimant's recoveries under the claim.

(d) Any purported representative of a minor must provide documentation that he or she is the legal agent of that minor.

§ 15.104 - Where should the FTCA administrative claim be filed?

(a) Only claims involving alleged acts or omissions of Department employees should be presented to the Department. For the purposes of this subpart, an FTCA claim shall be deemed to have been presented when the Department receives, at a place designated in paragraph (b) of this section, a properly executed “Claim for Damage, Injury, or Death” on Standard Form 95, or other written notification of an incident accompanied by a claim for money damages in a sum certain for injury to or loss of property or personal injury or death by reason of the incident.

(b) In any FTCA case where the claim seeks damages for an incident resulting in aggregate claims in excess of $25,000 or which involves an alleged act or omission of an employee of the Department whose official duty station is in Washington, DC, the claimant shall mail or deliver the claim for money damages for injury to or loss of property or personal injury or death caused by the negligent or wrongful act or omission of any employee of the Department while acting within the scope of office or employment to the Counsel for Claims and Compensation, Office of the Solicitor, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Suite S4325, Washington, DC 20210.

(c) In all other cases, the claimant shall submit his or her claim to the official duty station of the employee whose act or omission forms the basis of the complaint, which should be immediately forwarded to the appropriate Regional Office of the Office of the Solicitor with all currently available documentation (such as a Standard Form 91, Motor Vehicle Accident Report).

§ 15.105 - What information and evidence should be provided to DOL to substantiate an FTCA administrative claim?

(a) Personal injury. In support of a claim for personal injury, including pain and suffering, the claimant is required to submit the following evidence or information:

(1) A written report by the attending physician or dentist setting forth the nature and extent of the injury, nature and extent of treatment, any degree of temporary or permanent impairment, the prognosis, period of hospitalization, if any, and any diminished earning capacity. In addition, the claimant may be required to submit to a physical or mental examination by a physician employed or designated by the Department or another Federal agency. A copy of the report of the examining physician shall be made available to the claimant upon the claimant's written request.

(2) Itemized bills for medical, dental and hospital, or any other, expenses incurred or itemized receipts of payment for such expenses.

(3) If the prognosis reveals the necessity for future treatment, a statement of expected expenses for such treatment.

(4) Any other evidence or information which may have a bearing on either the responsibility of the United States for the personal injury or the damages claimed.

(b) Death. In support of a claim based on death, the claimant may be required to submit the following evidence or information:

(1) An authenticated death certificate, an autopsy report and or other competent evidence that includes cause or causes of death, date of death, and age of the decedent.

(2) Decedent's employment or occupation at the time of death, including his or her monthly or yearly salary or earnings (if any), and the duration of his or her last employment or occupation.

(3) Full name, address, birth date, kinship and marital status of the decedent's survivors, including identification of those survivors who were dependent for support upon the decedent at the time of his or her death.

(4) Degree of support afforded by the decedent to each survivor dependent upon him or her for support at the time of his or her death.

(5) Decedent's general physical and mental condition before his or her death.

(6) Itemized bills for medical and burial expenses incurred by reason of the incident causing death, or itemized receipts of payment for such expenses.

(7) If damages for pain and suffering prior to death are claimed, a physician's detailed statement specifying the injuries suffered, duration of pain and suffering, any drugs administered for pain, and the decedent's physical condition in the interval between injury and death.

(8) Any other evidence or information which may have a bearing on either the responsibility of the United States for the death or damages claimed.

(c) Property damages. In support of a claim for injury to or loss of property, real or personal, the claimant may be required to submit the following evidence or information with respect to each item of property:

(1) Proof of ownership.

(2) A detailed statement of the amount claimed.

(3) An itemized receipt of payment for necessary repairs or itemized written estimates of the cost of such repairs.

(4) A statement listing date of purchase, purchase price, and salvage value where repair is not economical.

(5) Any other evidence or information which may have a bearing on either the responsibility of the United States for the injury to or loss of property or the damages claimed.

(d) Loss of income. In support of a claim based on loss of income, the claimant may be required to submit the following evidence or information:

(1) A written statement from his or her employer showing actual time lost from employment, whether he or she is a full or part-time employee, and wages or salary actually lost.

(2) If the claimant is self-employed, documentary evidence showing the amount of earnings lost such as:

(i) Income tax returns for several years prior to the injury in question and the year in which the injury occurred may be used to indicate or measure lost income; or

(ii) A statement of the actual or projected cost for the claimant to hire someone else to do the same work he or she was doing at the time of injury.

(3) Any other evidence or information which may have a bearing on either the responsibility of the United States for the personal injury or the damages claimed.

§ 15.106 - How is the administrative claim processed?

(a) Investigation. When an organizational unit learns of an incident that reasonably can be expected to result in an allegation of harm caused to an individual or organization by an alleged negligent act or omission by an employee of that organizational unit or when it learns of an administrative claim or of litigation alleging such harm, it has the responsibility to fully investigate the incident and to take all actions necessary to preserve all relevant documents and other evidence. Each organizational unit should institute appropriate procedures to ensure that notification of such incidents are reported to the office responsible for ensuring that evidence is preserved and investigation undertaken.

(b) Notification. Upon receipt of an administrative claim under the Act or of notice of litigation seeking damages for an alleged negligent act or omission of an employee of the Department acting within the scope of his or her employment, the Office of the Solicitor shall notify the organizational unit responsible for the activity which gave rise to the claim or litigation and shall provide a copy of the administrative claim or the claim filed in the litigation.

(c) FTCA Contact. Each organizational unit will establish an FTCA contact, unless this requirement is waived by the Counsel for Claims and Compensation. The FTCA contact will coordinate and oversee the preservation of documents related to the circumstances of all claims arising from his or her organizational unit. The FTCA contact will arrange for the preparation and submission of the Administrative Report relating to each claim within 30 days after notification of receipt of an administrative claim, unless the Office of the Solicitor grants additional time.

(d) Litigation. During the course of any litigation, organizational units are responsible for providing assistance to the Office of the Solicitor in responding to discovery requests such as interrogatories and requests to produce documents, for providing assistance in analyzing factual and program issues, for providing witnesses for depositions and trials, and for assistance in producing affidavits and exhibits for use in the litigation.

§ 15.107 - What must be provided in the administrative report?

(a) The administrative report shall be in the form of a single memorandum in narrative form with attachments. It should contain all of the following elements, unless permission is obtained from the Office of the Solicitor to dispense with a particular element:

(1) A brief explanation of the organization and operation of the program involved including statutory authority and applicable regulations;

(2) A complete description of the events that gave rise to the claim or litigation, including a specific response to every allegation in the claim or litigation;

(3) Any information available regarding the questions of whether the claimant or plaintiff actually suffered the harm alleged in the claim or litigation and what individual or organization caused any harm which appears to have occurred;

(4) Any information available regarding the damages claimed;

(5) Any policy reasons which the organizational unit wishes to advance for or against settlement of the claim or litigation; and

(6) Details of any claims the Department may have against the claimant or plaintiff, whether or not they appear to be related to the subject matter of the claim or litigation.

(b) A copy of all documents relevant to the issues involved in the claim or litigation should be attached to each copy of the Administrative Report. Original records should not be forwarded to the Office of the Solicitor unless specifically requested. They should be preserved, however, and remain available for litigation if necessary.

(c) Organizational units should ensure that all Administrative Reports are either prepared or reviewed by an official of the organizational unit who was not personally involved in the incident in question prior to filing of the claim or suit.

(d) The Office of the Solicitor may waive the requirement of an Administrative Report. If the Administrative Report is waived, the organizational unit or units involved in the circumstances of the claim or litigation shall provide certification from the supervisor of the employee whose alleged negligent act or omission gave rise to the claim, certifying that the employee was acting within the scope of his or her employment at the time of the alleged negligent act or omission.

§ 15.108 - Who is authorized to decide an administrative claim?

(a) The Counsel for Claims and Compensation shall have the authority to consider, ascertain, adjust, determine, compromise and settle claims pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act which involve an alleged negligent or wrongful act or omission of an employee whose official duty station is the Department's national office in Washington, DC, or which involve aggregate claims in excess of $25,000, or which involve a new point of law or a question of policy.

(b) Regional Solicitors and the Associate Regional Solicitors are authorized to consider, ascertain, adjust, determine, compromise and settle claims arising in their respective jurisdictions pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act where the aggregate claimed does not exceed $25,000 in amount and which do not involve a new point of law or a question of policy.

§ 15.109 - What if the claim is denied?

Denial of an administrative claim under this subpart shall be in writing, and notification of denial shall be sent to the claimant, or his or her attorney or legal representative by certified or registered mail. The notification of final denial shall include a statement of the reasons for the denial and shall include a statement that, if the claimant is dissatisfied with the Department's action, that claimant may file suit in an appropriate U.S. District Court not later than 6 months after the date of mailing of the notification.

§ 15.110 - What must a claimant do if the administrative claim is approved?

(a) Payment of a claim approved under this subpart is contingent upon claimant's execution of the appropriate forms, such as the SF-194, SF-196, or SF-197, in accordance with instructions by the Department of Justice and/or the Judgment Fund. When a claimant is represented by an attorney, the voucher for payment shall designate the claimant as payee (as the beneficial interest holder), and the check shall be delivered to the attorney whose address appears on the voucher.

(b) Acceptance by the claimant, or his or her agent or legal representative, of an award, compromise, or settlement under 28 U.S.C. 2672 or 28 U.S.C. 2677 is final and conclusive on the claimant, his or her agent or legal representative, and any other person on whose behalf or for whose benefit the claim has been presented and constitutes a complete release of any claim against the United States and against any officer or employee of the Government whose act or omission gave rise to the claim by reason of the same subject matter.

§ 15.111 - If the administrative claim is approved, how is the award paid?

(a) Any award, compromise, or settlement in the amount of $2,500 or less made pursuant to this section shall be paid by the Secretary of Labor out of appropriations available to the Department.

(b) Payment of an award, compromise, or settlement in an amount in excess of $2,500 made pursuant to this subpart shall be made in accordance with 28 CFR 14.10.

(c) An award, compromise or settlement of a claim under 28 U.S.C. 2672 and this subpart in excess of $25,000 may be effected only with the prior written approval of the Attorney General or his designee. For the purpose of this subpart, a principal claim and any derivative or subrogated claim shall be treated as a single claim.