Experiencing an unexpected work-related injury can be traumatic for all workers. But when a federal employee suffers from a work injury the outcome is often unpredictable.
Compensation for federal workers differs from that for state workers and very few lawyers have expertise in this area. It can be difficult, if not impossible, to find legal representation for a federal workers comp case.
If you are ever in a situation regarding federal worker’s compensation, carefully review the following OWCP information, and understand how the process will affect you.
What is the federal worker’s compensation?
When U.S. civilian federal employees become sick or injured on the job, the government offers compensation benefits. If the ailment results in the worker’s death, the federal employee’s dependents may receive benefits.
Which U.S. government agency handles claims?
FECA is the Federal Employees Compensation Act that is administered by OWCP, the Department of Labor, Office of Worker’s Compensation Program. FECA governs over federal workers’ compensation.
The Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA) is the governing law of federal workers’ compensation, is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP). If you experience a work injury, the procedure is for you to file a claim with OWCP who will assign a claims examiner to your file for review.
What types of benefits does OWCP offer?
There are four types of federal worker’s compensation available:
- Medical treatments:The OWCP might pay for such medical treatments as medications, therapy, necessary devices, or transportation cost. The injured worker will not be required to use private insurance or cover co-pays. The initial care provider may be chosen by you, but any change in providers needs to be approved by OWCP. Vocational rehabilitation services are acceptable costs if such therapies are needed to get you back to work.
- Full disability payments: In cases of serious injury resulting in temporary total disability, a federal worker may receive COP, a continuation of full pay for 45 days. In other instances, where a disabling work-related illness or injury is sustained, the eligible employee may receive 2/3 or 3/4 of their wages, depending on if there are dependents.
- Schedule award: If a job-related injury causes a permanent partial impairment, like diminished use of a limb, and the employee has run out of temporary total disability benefits, the worker may still be entitled to a schedule award. These are payments set for a specific number of weeks determined by current statutes and regulations. How much money the worker receives depends on his/her wage rate, which body part no longer functions properly and the percentage of impaired use.
- Permanent Effects: If you suffer from a specific job-related permanent partial impairment, such as the loss of the use of a limb, after you have exhausted temporary total disability benefits, you may be entitled to what’s referred to as a “schedule award.” A schedule award consists of monetary payments for a prescribed number of weeks set by statutes and regulations. The amount of money you receive will depend on which body part is impaired, the percentage of permanent impairment, and your wage rate.
- Death benefits: Dependents of deceased federal employees who were killed at work may receive death benefits. Eligible family members include spouse and children, as well as dependent grandchildren, siblings, parents, and grandparents. The rate of pay will depend on the receiver’s age and relation to the deceased worker. Families may also be eligible for up to $800 in funeral costs.