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Committments & Legal Protection

Commitments & Legal Protection

National Disaster Medical System

NDMS is made up of medical, fatality management, veterinary professionals and para-professionals who serve as excepted–service federal employees who are activated on an episodic intermittent basis under official orders.

As an intermittent federal employee, you commit to completing certain requirements and you are covered by several legal statutes when you are acting under official orders from NDMS.

Required Commitments

  • Maintaining Licensure and Certifications: NDMS personnel are required to maintain appropriate licensure and certifications within their discipline, if applicable. When personnel are activated as Federal employees, licensure and certification is recognized by all States.
  • Carry Your Credentials: When you are deployed, you are required to carry a copy of any applicable licenses and/or certifications.
  • Training and Other Events: If you choose to serve, you will need to be available to deploy, complete training, attend meetings and dri​lls, and respond to requests for information. 
  • Remain Medically and Physically Fit: Deploying during a disaster often requires a lot of physically demanding work. You need to remain medically and physically fit so that you can face a wide range of challenges that are common in disasters.
  • Compensation and Travel: NDMS personnel are compensated, traveled and billeted based on Civil Service classifications and standards associated with a public health emergency or special event. You cannot arrange for your own travel.

Legal Protection

NDMS intermittent federal employees a protected by several statutes during their service, including the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), and Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA).

NDMS members are covered by the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act if they are injured or killed while working within the scope of their Federal employment. FECA provides workers’ compensation coverage to Federal employees for employment-related injuries and occupational diseases. All injuries, including disease proximately caused by employment, sustained while in the performance of duty by civilian employees of the United States are covered.

The employee must provide medical and factual evidence to establish the essential elements of the claim, i.e., that the claim was filed within the statutory time requirements of the FECA, the injured or deceased person was an employee within the meaning of the FECA, the employee sustained an injury or disease, the employee was in the performance of duty when the injury occurred, and the condition found resulted from the injury.

Benefits cannot be paid if injury or death is caused by willful misconduct of the injured employee, by intent to bring about the injury or death of oneself or another, or by intoxication of the injured employee. The NDMS statutory authority pertaining to FECA coverage was modified in 2015 to specify that FECA benefits for NDMS members will be calculated as if NDMS members were full time HHS employees.