If you work for the federal government, you aren’t covered by workers’ compensation the same way workers in the private sector are. Instead, your rights are ensured through the Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA), which works a little differently than private employers’ workers’ compensation insurance.
Who Is Covered by FECA?
All federal employees are covered by FECA, except for railroad workers, coal miners (regarding black lung cases), longshoremen, and harbor workers. Military personnel are not considered federal employees when it comes to workers’ compensation. In addition, independent government contractors are not covered by FECA, but instead have their own workers’ compensation plans in place.
Any of these employees who are either injured during the course of normal job duties or who develop a disease due to the conditions in which they have worked are eligible to receive benefits from FECA. Specifically, FECA does not cover injuries sustained driving to or from work, or those that occur under the influence of prescription medication or alcohol.
Even if you are injured while working off-site or traveling specifically for work purposes, you are still covered by FECA benefits.
How Does FECA Distribute Benefits?
Depending on the type of injury or illness sustained, FECA can compensate for related medical bills, recovery plans, and lost wages.
FECA can cover lost wages to Indiana federal workers if they are temporarily unable to perform their normal job duties due to injuries sustained while working. The government agency for which the victim directly works will pay up to 45 days of lost wages, and if the employee still cannot return to work, then FECA will kick in to cover the rest.
Permanent Partial or Total Disability
For workers who become permanently disabled due to occupational disease or permanent injury, FECA will begin to compensate medical costs after a brief three-day waiting period. These benefits include the cost of surgeries, rehabilitation programs, and prescription drugs.
After reviewing medical documents, FECA will also determine the level of benefits the victim should receive long-term, considering factors like the severity of the injury, the number of dependents the worker claims, and the impact the disability has on future earning capacity. If the worker has died on the job, their dependents will receive survivor’s benefits from FECA.
Help from an Indiana Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Despite the seemingly all-inclusive coverage that FECA provides federal employees, it may still be hard to prove your injury (whether temporary or permanent) is worth the benefits you are seeking. Because of this, you can always consult with an Indiana workers’ compensation attorney to better understand your options and learn how to file a strong claim with FECA.
Though not every Indiana federal employee will need to talk to a workers’ compensation lawyer, this is especially useful if you have been seriously hurt on the job or your case is particularly complex. Hensley Legal Group’s experienced attorneys can help you untangle the legal jargon surrounding your case and may be able to help you get compensation for your injuries. Contact us today for a free conversation about your situation.