Workers’ Compensation Claims for Government Employees
You’re a dedicated employee of a government agency and take pride in serving the public. But what happens if you’re hurt on the job and can no longer work? Whether you work for a local, state or federal agency, you probably have options for seeking coverage after an accident or on-the-job injury.
Most workers know that if an on-the-job injury occurs, covered employees can file a claim with the appropriate insurance company for medical bills coverage and even lost wages. These benefits usually come from workers’ compensation, which is a type of insurance plan many employers are required to carry. If you work for a government entity–whether it’s state, federal or local–your workers’ comp plan is likely administered by the government agency that employs you.
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WORKERS’ COMPENSATION PLANS
People who work for the federal government could be covered under one of several plans. Civilian workers might be able to seek benefits from a plan administered under the Office of Workers’ Compensation Plan (OWCP), which is part of the U.S. Department of Labor. The OWCP administers four major programs designed to cover losses if a federal employee is injured during the course of his or her job. Benefits the OWCP administers include payments for medical treatments, wage replacement and vocational rehab to help injured employees find other work.
Some specific federal government programs are available for those in certain niches. The Black Lung Benefits program, for example, provides benefits to individuals who worked in coal mining and suffered disabilities from “Black Lung Disease,” which is a form of pneumoconiosis. The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation program assists those injured doing maritime work.
LOCAL AND STATE GOVERNMENT WORKERS’ COMPENSATION PLANS
If you work for a state or local government, you might be covered under a different plan. State employees seeking hurt-on-the-job benefits might file with a traditional workers’ compensation provider chosen by their state agency. In some cases, the state itself might have an agency that oversees such claims. The same is true at the local level.
WHY WORK WITH A WORKERS’ COMP ATTORNEY?
Getting full coverage for a workers’ comp claim can be a difficult and tedious process for any employee. You might face a lot of paperwork. Agencies that administer such plans often try to avoid paying out any more than they must. This fact doesn’t change because your employer is a government agency. In fact, government employees can face even more bureaucratic hassle when seeking injured worker benefits.
First, you have to figure out what program or agency covers you. You might have to complete a Workers’ Comp Form WC-117 or other complex paperwork. Without the right assistance, your case could drag on for weeks or months. Often, without an experienced workers’ compensation attorney, government employees might never receive full benefits available to them. That could leave you unable to handle medical bills and recover financially after a large loss of wages.
DON’T GIVE UP IF YOUR WORKERS’ COMP CLAIM IS DENIED
Don’t stop fighting for benefits simply because your first claim is denied. Speak to a workers’ comp lawyer about your options. The attorneys at Levine Benjamin have helped many people seek full compensation for medical care, prescriptions and lost wages after work-related accidents. Whether you’re a government worker facing long-term disability or a short-term need, we can help you find your way through the system and come out strong.