There are state and federal regulations for the minimum amount of workers compensation companies are required to provide to their employees. But what if you don’t work for a private company? What is the federal government required to provide for their own employees?
The Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP)
Federal workers’ compensation is organized through the OWCP, a division of the U.S. Department of Labor. The OWCP works to provide disability benefits to federal employees who have been hurt on the job, but as with any employer or disability benefit, legitimate claims are sometimes denied. If you are a federal employee whose claim has been denied, you may require assistance if you would like to reapply for benefits.
Types of Compensation Available
As per the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA), federal employees and postal workers are eligible for compensation for work injuries and occupational diseases. This means that it covers employees medical benefits, temporary disability coverage, permanent disability benefits, and death benefits for survivors of employees.
Should an employee be injured in a work-related accident, their employer may be responsible for covering their medical bills. If the employer, in this case the federal government, refuses to pay the employee’s bills, the employee can contest their decision. With the help of physician testimony and medical records, they can prove that the employer is responsible for their injuries.
Temporary Disability Benefits
Recovery can be a slow process. When an employee is injured in a way that impacts their work, they may need to apply for temporary disability. Fortunately, FECA provides temporary disability to those who have suffered from traumatic accidents and injuries. This means that they could be eligible to receive their full, regular wage for a period of time while they are recovering.
Permanent Disability Benefits
For employees who have sustained permanent, life altering disabilities, permanent disability benefits can assist in easing the transition into a new life. If you have experienced a permanent, life altering injury, such a paralysis or loss of limb, you might be eligible for permanent disability benefits.
If a federally employee dies from a work related accident or disease, their survivors are eligible to receive death benefits. For the families of primary earners, this money can be the difference between losing everything and having the chance to rebuild their life. Survivors can range from spouses and children to siblings and grandparents. The families of federal employees may also be eligible to receive up to $800 to cover funeral and burial expenses.
Filing a Claim
Filing a federal workers’ compensation claim is a multistep process that goes through the OWCP and is subject to investigation. They may ask you to submit to a medical exam with a doctor of their choosing as well as asking for the professional opinion of your personal doctor. A good attorney can help you navigate all these steps and avoid pitfalls, increasing your chances of getting your claim approved on your first submission.
Contesting a Decision
It is not unusual for claims to be denied, which is why it is good to have a plan in case the OWCP denies your claim. In this case, you can appeal to the OWCP and attend a hearing in front of a review board. If the board’s decision is still a denial, you can make a final appeal to the Employees’ Compensation Appeals Board (ECAB), where a final, uncontestable decision will be made.
Get the Legal Help You Need Today
Having everything in order to submit your claim in the most efficient and elegant way possible can be difficult for someone without experience in this area of the law. That’s why the Attorneys of Sheridan & Dulas, P. A. are honored to support and defend employees in their workers’ compensation cases.
Experienced Attorneys Who Understand The System
If you are injured because of your federal employment, whether it be arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or a specific accident, you need to consult with an experienced federal workers’ compensation attorney immediately. You may be entitled to significant compensation for your injuries.
For example, under the current compensation structure, if an employee develops a work-related condition (arthritis, tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, etc…) which permanently limits their ability to use one of their hands, they are owed compensation. If a doctor determines the employee has lost 10% of the use of their hand because of the condition, the employee would be owed a “schedule award” of approximately 18 weeks pay. If you make $52,000 per year, that would be $18,000!
We will fight for you.
The attorneys at Sheridan & Dulas, P.A., include former labor union members who know how the federal workers’ compensation system operates.
We understand that hard work sometimes comes with injuries. Your job does not require you to live in pain or with physical limitations. You are entitled to compensation for work-related injuries.
Contact us today for help with your federal workers’ compensation case in Eagan or elsewhere in the state of Minnesota.