Minnesota workers’ compensation provides coverage for private employers, but federal employees working in Minnesota have a different type of coverage system. Federal employees are protected under the Federal Employee Compensation Act (FECA). Below, we take a look at how federal employees can file for benefits in Minnesota, and how a workers’ compensation lawyer can help to maximize your benefits.
Federal Employee Injury Compensation
Instead of being allowed to sue the federal government for any injuries they might incur on the job, the government passed FECA to provide injury coverage to its employees. FECA provides coverage for most federal agencies, like the FBI, IRS and the U.S. Postal Service. What’s nice about FECA is that it covers a wide range of employees, including full-time, part-time, probationary, temporary and even seasonal federal workers.
FECA typically does not provide coverage to private companies that contract to provide services for the federal government, although they’d still be eligible to seek workers’ compensation through the state. FECA also does not cover military personnel or other subsets of groups that have a separate type of compensation system set up in the event of injury.
What Types Of Injuries Are Covered Under FECA?
Similar to state-provide coverage, FECA provides compensation for federal employees who suffer acute or occupational injuries. By occupational injuries, we mean injuries that develop over time as a result of years of service. For example, a postal worker who handles heavy boxes for a living could seek a claim for back pain that develops after decades on the job, while a federal employee who works as a secretary could seek compensation if her job contributed to the onset of her carpal tunnel syndrome.
In order to file a claim for an acute injury, you have to fill out a Federal Notice of Traumatic Injury and Claim for Continuation of Pay/Compensation. Similarly, if you are dealing with an occupational injury, you’ll need to fill out a Notice of Occupational Disease and Claim for Compensation. You should fill these out as soon as possible after your injury, but they need to be submitted within 30 days of the incident.
How A Workers’ Compensation Can Help
One of the biggest reasons why federal employees can benefit from hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer to handle their case is that it provides them with peace of mind. There are some additional wrinkles to federal compensation cases, like the fact that employees with acute injuries can have their full pay continued for up to 45 days. Your payment amount also varies based on your marriage status and the number of dependents you have, and a lawyer can help ensure you’re getting the maximum benefits allowed under FECA. Hiring a work comp lawyer can allow you to focus on your health and recovery while your lawyer maximizes your compensation package.
Your lawyer can also help to explain the process so that everything runs smoothly. For example, if your injury is unlikely to fully recover, your lawyer can direct you to a doctor that can provide you with a disability rating. A lawyer can then use this rating to petition for a permanent disability award to help compensate for any future lost earnings.
For more information on how a lawyer can help, or to talk to an attorney about your federal injury benefits, reach out to Dean Margolis today.