The Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA) offers workers’ compensation payments to civilian U.S. federal employees who are hurt at work. FECA is comparable to the state-run workers’ compensation systems, but it only applies to federal employees and has its laws and guidelines.
Who FECA Act Covers
The FECA program includes all federal government civilian employees working in the executive, legislative, and judicial departments. Both full-time and part-time employees, the majority of volunteers, and everyone serving on a federal jury is covered. Also included are some individuals and groups, such as federal jurors, volunteers for the Peace Corps, students enrolled in programs run by the Reserve Officer Training Corps, and members of the Civil Air Patrol and Coast Guard Auxiliary.
Some injured workers work for companies with contracts with the federal government. These workers can be classified as private employees and cannot file FECA claims. They can instead file a workers’ compensation claim against the state.
What Conditions are Covered Under FECA?
The Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) processes and decides on every FECA claim. The OWCP makes initial judgments about claims based on the information provided by the claimant and their doctor. The statute also allows OWCP to demand that a claimant or beneficiary undergo a medical examination by a physician working under a federal contract.
An employee who disagrees with a claims decision may ask for an OWCP hearing or a review of the decision’s record. The Employees’ Compensation Appeals Board is the appropriate venue for a final appeal (ECAB). The ECAB’s judgment is final, cannot be appealed, and cannot be challenged in court.
Recall that the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board handles claim adjudication under the California state-based system. Employers must have insurance, be self-insured, or otherwise comply with the law. Additionally, the state-based system in California permits employers to opt out through alternative dispute resolution (ADR). In the California legal system, injured workers can appeal decisions to the state’s highest court. There could even be access to the Federal Courts in particular situations.
Statutes of Limitations to Filing FECA Claims
A FECA claim for disability or death payments must be submitted within three years of the injury or death. The three-year time restriction does not start in the instance of a latent disability, such as a condition brought on by prolonged exposure to a poisonous chemical, until the employee becomes disabled and realizes or reasonably should realize that the impairment was brought on by their work.
Survivor Dependent Benefits
Dependents of federal employees who are murdered in the line of duty or pass away from an occupational disease may be eligible for benefits under the FECA. Most of the time, the employee’s spouse and young children are eligible family members. However, siblings, parents, grandparents, or others who relied on the employee for help may also be eligible.
Depending on the unique circumstances of each case, wounded federal employees and their families may be eligible for benefits and may receive a particular amount of compensation. Hire Lawyers For Federal Employees In California to learn more about your rights and alternatives if you or a loved one has had a work-related sickness or injury.
Health and Disability Benefits
If a federal government worker gets hurt on the job or gets sick because of their job, they may be able to get FECA payments. The FECA benefits workers who are temporarily or permanently unable to work because of an illness or accident they got at work. It also pays for medical bills that are related to work-related diseases.
Under the FECA, a worker who gets hurt on the job and can’t work for a while because of it can ask their employer to keep paying them for up to 45 days. If the incapacity lasts more than 45 days, the employee may be eligible for lost salary reimbursement.
A worker may be eligible to obtain compensation for loss of earning capacity if a workplace accident prevents them from working in the future. Suppose an injured worker has a lifelong handicap due to their injuries, such as an amputated limb or a partial loss of vision. In that case, they may also be eligible for compensation under the FECA.
What Do FECA Disability Payments Entail?
Disability payments come in a variety of ways under the FECA system. They consist of salary continuance, disability benefits, permanent partial disability payments, scheduled benefits, and complete disability benefits.
For select public employees, the California system offers pay continuation benefits. If not, a temporary disability rate is roughly two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly income. California has a permanent disability schedule that handles the sums payable for permanent partial disabilities, just like FECA. The California-based system also offers a type of reimbursement for complete disability.
Schedule an appointment with a seasoned federal worker lawyer if you want to learn more about the FECA or need to seek legal counsel.