Imagine filing a simple form after getting hurt or sick on the job. A week later, you receive your first benefits check. That happens every time in a perfect world, but not in this one. On our earth, federal employees must jump through an obstacle course that would challenge the average Navy Seal to get the money she has earned and deserves.
For example, in order to receive federal workers’ compensation, employees must demonstrate all the following:
The rules differ for damage which happened before September 7, 1974. Of course, there are exceptions. For more information, you may consult this federal publication. But if you’d like to speak to a friendly, knowledgeable human being, we’re here to answer your questions. Just call…
Employment Status. You must be a federal employee as defined by law. That covers most permanent and temporary workers. Exceptions abound, however. Special legislation deals with federal grand jurors, ROTC cadets, Job Corps enrollees and others. Additionally, the workers’ comp program covers contract employees and volunteers under certain circumstances and not under others.Our firm may be able to help if the powers-that-be decide you’re not covered.
Establishment of Event and Injury. First, the employee must demonstrate that a traumatic event, such as a drawer slamming on a finger, happened at work. Second, the worker’s physicians must testify in writing to the severity of the injury or infection and the extent of disability that resulted from it. Many people find it very difficult to show medical need and disability to the satisfaction of the workers’ compensation bureaucrats.
Performance of Duty. You’re covered if you got hurt or infected while at the job location during working hours. According to a federal publication entitled “Injury Compensation for Federal Employees,” “Coverage includes injuries which occur while the employee was performing assigned duties or engaging in an activity which was reasonably associated with the employment.” That’s certainly open to interpretation.
The law and regulations provide other provisions covering work done after normal hours as well as off the premises, including at “representational functions,” “parking facilities” and “agency housing,” among others.
Causal Relationship. You or your physician have already shown that you received an injury or infection at work, and you have a medical condition requiring treatment. Maybe you’ve even missed work. Now you must show that the injury caused the illness and disability. Only your physician can provide the needed evidence and documentation.
Statutory Exclusions. It turns out that the claims examiners can still deny you even though you’re a qualified federal employee who’s filed your claim on time and demonstrated that you suffered an on-the-job injury or infection that caused you to miss work and required medical care. The bureaucrats can do this if they believe you engaged in willful misconduct by, for example, getting drunk or using street drugs. They can also deny your claim if they think you injured yourself on purpose.
If, after reading this, you feel the need for assistance of any kind, please contact us for a free, friendly, no obligation or pressure consultation. Simply call…