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Who qualifies for government workers’ compensation?

While all employees in California are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits in the event of them suffering occupational injuries or diseases, some may be unsure of from whom to claim those benefits. While private companies must carry insurance to cover the expenses of their injured workers, the claims procedures to follow for government workers’ compensation benefits are different. The Federal Employee’s Compensation Act (FECA) covers federal employees and provides coverage of expenses related to any disease or injury suffered while performing their duties.

The positions held by injured workers and their years of service are irrelevant and play no part in their right to compensation. Injured federal workers must file FECA claims with the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs, and the Employees’ Compensation Fund will pay the benefits. Coverage through FECA typically includes medical expenses and wage replacement; victims who suffer partial disability may receive vocational rehabilitation services.

Some federal employees qualify for particular types of compensation under different federal laws. Railroad workers and other workers involved in interstate transportation must claim recovery for workplace injury losses under the Federal Employer’s Liability Act. The Jones Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act cover workers in maritime occupations on navigable waters or in docks and harbors. The Defense Base Act, the Death on the High Seas Act or the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act cover benefits for U.S. employees who are injured in locations outside the United States.

Federal employees who have suffered on-the-job injuries may be unsure of the steps to take to obtain government workers’ compensation benefits. Figuring out how to cope with the unanticipated financial losses can be overwhelming while facing the prospect of recovering from injuries. Fortunately, help is available from an experienced California workers’ compensation attorney who can explain the steps and help with the process after an evaluation of the circumstances that led to the occupational injury or disease.

Source: FindLaw, “Public Employees and Workers’ Compensation“, Accessed on Feb. 24, 2017