Except as otherwise specifically provided, the Secretary shall administer the provisions of this chapter, and for such purpose the Secretary is authorized (1) to make such rules and regulations; (2) to appoint and fix the compensation of such temporary technical assistants and medical advisers, and, subject to the provisions of the civil service laws, to appoint, and, in accordance with chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5, to fix the compensation of such deputy commissioners (except deputy commissioners appointed under subsection (a) of section 940 of this title) and other officers and employees; and (3) to make such expenditures (including expenditures for personal services and rent at the seat of government and elsewhere, for law books, books of reference, periodicals, and for printing and binding) as may be necessary in the administration of this chapter. All expenditures of the Secretary in the administration of this chapter shall be allowed and paid as provided in section 945 1 of this title upon the presentation of itemized vouchers therefor approved by the Secretary.
The Secretary shall establish compensation districts, to include the high seas and the areas within the United States to which this chapter applies, and shall assign to each such district one or more deputy commissioners, as the Secretary deems advisable. Judicial proceedings under sections 918 and 921 of this title in respect of any injury or death occurring on the high seas shall be instituted in the district court within whose territorial jurisdiction is located the office of the deputy commissioner having jurisdiction in respect of such injury or death (or in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia if such office is located in such District).
(1) The Secretary shall, upon request, provide persons covered by this chapter with information and assistance relating to the chapter's coverage and compensation and the procedures for obtaining such compensation and including assistance in processing a claim. The Secretary may, upon request, provide persons covered by this chapter with legal assistance in processing a claim. The Secretary shall also provide employees receiving compensation information on medical, manpower, and vocational rehabilitation services and assist such employees in obtaining the best such services available.
(2) The Secretary shall direct the vocational rehabilitation of permanently disabled employees and shall arrange with the appropriate public or private agencies in States or Territories, possessions, or the District of Columbia for such rehabilitation. The Secretary may in his discretion furnish such prosthetic appliances or other apparatus made necessary by an injury upon which an award has been made under this chapter to render a disabled employee fit to engage in a remunerative occupation. Where necessary rehabilitation services are not available otherwise, the Secretary of Labor may, in his discretion, use the fund provided for in section 944 of this title in such amounts as may be necessary to procure such services, including necessary prosthetic appliance or other apparatus. This fund shall also be available in such amounts as may be authorized in annual appropriations for the Department of Labor for the costs of administering this subsection.
(Mar. 4, 1927, ch. 509, §39, 44 Stat. 1442; June 25, 1936, ch. 804, 49 Stat. 1921; June 25, 1948, ch. 646, §32(b), 62 Stat. 991; May 24, 1949, ch. 139, §127, 63 Stat. 107; Oct. 28, 1949, ch. 782, title XI, §1106(a), 63 Stat. 972; July 26, 1956, ch. 735, §7, 70 Stat. 656; Pub. L. 92–576, §17, Oct. 27, 1972, 86 Stat. 1262; Pub. L. 98–426, §27(a)(2), (c), Sept. 28, 1984, 98 Stat. 1654.)
Section 945 of this title, referred to in subsec. (a), was repealed by Pub. L. 98–426, §25, Sept. 28, 1984, 98 Stat. 1654. See section 944 of this title.
In subsec. (a) "chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5" substituted for "the Classification Act of 1949, as amended" on authority of Pub. L. 89–554, §7(b), Sept. 6, 1966, 80 Stat. 631, the first section of which enacted Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.
As originally enacted, subsec. (b) contained a reference to the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia. Act June 25, 1936, substituted "the district court of the United States for the District of Columbia" for "the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia", and act June 25, 1948, as amended by act May 24, 1949, substituted "United States District Court for the District of Columbia" for "district court of the United States for the District of Columbia".
Former second sentence of subsec. (c), providing that the Federal Board for Vocational Education should cooperate with the Employees' Compensation Commission in such educational work has been omitted. The functions of the Board were transferred to the Department of the Interior by Ex. Ord. No. 6166, §15, June 10, 1933, and then to the Federal Security Agency by Reorg. Plan No. 1 of 1939, §§201, 204, eff. July 1, 1939, 4 F.R. 2728, 53 Stat. 1424. The Commission was abolished and its functions transferred to the Federal Security Administrator and the Federal Board for Vocational Education was abolished by Reorg. Plan No. 2 of 1946, former sections 3 and 8, respectively, set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.
1984—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 98–426, §27(c), substituted "Secretary" for "United States Employees' Compensation Commission". See Transfer of Functions note set out under section 902 of this title.
Subsecs. (b), (c)(2). Pub. L. 98–426, §27(a)(2), substituted "Secretary" for "commission". See Transfer of Functions note set out under section 902 of this title.
1972—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 92–576 added par. (1) and redesignated existing provisions as par. (2).
1956—Subsec. (c). Act July 26, 1956, substituted "rehabilitation" for "education" at end of first sentence, and substituted last two sentences, relating to use of special fund where necessary rehabilitation services are not available, and availability of fund in amounts authorized annually for the Department of Labor for former sentence which provided that "If any surplus is left in any fiscal year in the fund provided for in section 944 of this title, such surplus may be used in subsequent fiscal years for the purposes of administration and investigation."
1949—Subsec. (a). Act Oct. 28, 1949, substituted "Classification Act of 1949" for "Classification Act of 1923".
Amendment by Pub. L. 98–426 effective Sept. 28, 1984, see section 28(e)(1) of Pub. L. 98–426, set out as a note under section 901 of this title.
Amendment by Pub. L. 92–576 effective 30 days after Oct. 27, 1972, see section 22 of Pub. L. 92–576, set out as a note under section 902 of this title.
Act Oct. 28, 1949, ch. 782, cited as a credit to this section, was repealed (subject to a savings clause) by Pub. L. 89–554, Sept. 6, 1966, §8, 80 Stat. 632, 655.
1 See References in Text note below.