Most private sector employees are covered by state regulated workers’ compensation programs, but federal employees are covered by the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA). If a federal employee is injured at work, or if he or she suffers from a work related illness, then FECA provides compensation in the form of medical care and covers the cost of lost wages, and vocational rehabilitation.
Who is covered by FECA
All federal employees are covered by FECA. An employee does not have to work for a certain amount of time in order to be covered, as long as he or she is an employee of the federal government. Private government contractors are not covered by FECA.
FECA is a no fault based system, which means that the employee does not have to show that the employer did anything wrong or negligent that led to the employee’s injury or illness. Instead, if an injury or illness is related to the employee’s duties at work, then the injury or illness is likely covered. There are exceptions though. If the employee intentionally injured themselves, was injured in the course of willful misconduct, or was injured as the result of being intoxicated, then he or she might not be able to collect under the program.
FECA program provides for medical care, wage support, and vocational training. Medical care includes surgeries, hospitalizations, medical supplies and other necessary treatments. While most medical practitioners’ services are covered, there are some restrictions placed on chiropractic services. In the case of employees who die in the course of work related activities, benefits are provided to the surviving dependents.
Employees who suffer from traumatic job-related injuries can request the continuation of his or her regular pay for up to 45 calendar days. Employees may use sick leave or other leave to extend their time off for recovery. If the disability is the result of an occupational disease, then continued pay is not permitted. Compensation can be paid after a waiting period. The rate of compensation is usually 2/3 of the salary, but 3/4 of the employee’s salary can be paid if the employee has qualifying dependents.
When third parties share the blame
If the accident that injured the employee was in part the result of a third party, and the employee collects a settlement, a portion of that settlement must be refunded to the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs.
When to consult an attorney
Many injured employees do not seek representation from an attorney in order to file their FECA workers’ compensation claims. There are certain situations where hiring an attorney should be considered. In the event that your claim was denied and you wish to appeal your claim, you might benefit from an attorney’s representation. Additionally, if you have a serious injury, that will likely lead to very high medical bills and an overall expensive claim, or if the causation related to your claim is complicated, you should also consider reaching out to an attorney to discuss the facts specific to your case.
There is a lot at stake when you face a workplace injury. You need time to recuperate and regain your health, and you have to make sure that your ability to support yourself and your family is not impaired by a work related injury or illness. That is why it is important to make sure that your rights are protected and that you are getting the compensation that you require and that you are entitled to.
Contact Stern Law, PLLC for A Free Consultation
At Stern Law, PLLC, we have compassionate and caring attorneys ready to work with you in order to find the best strategy for seeking compensation for your job related injuries. Contact Stern Law, PLLC today at (844) 808-7529 for a free consolation with an experienced attorney.