Does workers’ compensation cover injuries to federal employees?

Like employees for private organizations, those who hold federal government positions are at risk for workplace injuries. However, the way these employees receive benefits or compensation for such injuries is much different. Where private company employees turn to workers’ compensation for recovery, federal employees must rely on the Division of Federal Employees’ Compensation.

The DFEC provides many benefits to injured federal employees including monetary compensation for lost wages, payment of medical expenses and disbursing death benefits to survivors. However, the program also provides valuable assistance with returning to work as quickly as possible. Here is a breakdown of some of the work return assistance an injured federal employee might expect:

A registered nurse can work with employees suffering long-term recovery to ensure the worker is receiving the proper care. The nurse also helps the federal employees recover enough to return to work.

Injured federal workers can gain referrals to medical specialists in order to acquire additional medical opinions, when necessary.

Injured workers can also be referred to vocational rehabilitation services if their injuries prevent them from returning to their previous job categories.

A major focus of DFEC services is speed and timeliness. The division stresses that employees suffering from workplace injuries will receive a prompt ruling on their compensation claims.

Despite the good work of the Division of Federal Employees’ Compensation, some injured federal workers may need additional assistance to become whole once more. In these situations, it may be possible to file a lawsuit against third parties that either caused or contributed to the workplace injury. An attorney can provide more information on such lawsuits.

Source: United States Department of Labor, “Division of Federal Employees’ Compensation (DFEC),” accessed July 14, 2015

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