How to Calculate Your Federal Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Federal Workers’ Compensation, US

Federal Workers’ Compensation, US

Calculating Compensation Under Federal Workers’ Compensation

Getting injured at work isn’t something many people want to think about. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to know what to do in the worst-case scenario. Navigating the complexities of federal workers’ compensation is easier said than done, but the team at Aumiller Lomax is here to help. We work with clients across the United States, helping them take advantage of this program and its financial assistance. First and foremost, our team can help you determine your eligibility for federal workers’ comp benefits and show you how to calculate them. Here are the basics about workers’ comp and understanding the potential benefits.

What Is Federal Workers’ Compensation?

Federal workers’ compensation was established under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA). This set of laws serves as a protective measure for federal employees who suffer from job-related injuries or illnesses. Under FECA, injured employees do not have to bear the brunt of medical expenses or face financial hardship due to lost wages. The benefits available under this program include the following:

  • Coverage for medical expenses related to the injury
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Permanent or temporary disability benefits

Who Is Eligible for Benefits?

Any federal employee who has been injured on the job may be eligible for federal workers’ compensation. At Aumiller Lomax, we work with clients nationwide who are seeking assistance with securing compensation. Our team has specific experience serving employees of a vast array of federal agencies and departments, including the following:

Steps to Compute Federal Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Determining federal workers’ comp benefits is easier with an experienced attorney at your side. After all, these calculations are a meticulous process that can quickly become confusing. The compensation calculation process can take into account multiple factors such as, the employee’s salary at the time of injury, and whether they have dependents, among other considerations. Learn more about workers’ compensation benefits and how they are typically calculated.

Wage Benefits

Wage benefits are also known as disability benefits. Calculating your compensation begins with establishing a pay rate. The method used to calculate your pay rate varies by what federal job you held and how long you have been in federal employment. Most frequently, your pay rate is based upon  your average annual earnings since working for your employer (your annual rate of pay if you are a career employee working at least 11 months for your federal employer). Once pay rate has been established, your actual compensation will be based on whether you have dependents (this includes a spouse). If you have a spouse or dependents, your compensation rate is 75% of your pay rate. If you have neither spouse nor dependents, your compensation rate is 66 2/3% of your pay rate.

Medical Benefits

Federal employees are not compensated directly for their medical bills. Instead, they should see a provider who accepts their benefits and ask that the provider submit bills directly to the OWCP. Please note that any medical provider can participate in the FECA program, they need only sign up. However, many medical providers will refuse to participate in the federal workers’ compensation program. All medical expenses will be tracked, and you should not be charged any co-pay or deductible. If your claim is accepted and the medical providers are properly billing, you should incur no medical expenses.

Factors Affecting Compensation Amounts

Estimating federal workers’ comp benefits is challenging, as compensation amounts are influenced by a variety of different factors. Thankfully, Aumiller Lomax’s attorneys can help you better understand your position. Claims may be affected by the following:

  • Dependent Status—Do you have a spouse,children, or other dependents? Federal Workers’ Compensation adjusts benefits based on whether you have dependents.
  • Previous Earnings—Your salary prior to the injury or illness is a major factor in calculating compensation, especially for wage loss benefits. Higher earnings typically translate to higher compensation rates within the limits set by FECA.
  • Severity of the Injury or Illness—As it relates to permanency (sometimes referred to as a schedule award) the nature and severity of the injury or illness directly affect the amount of compensation. More severe conditions may warrant higher levels of compensation.
  • Extent of Medical Expenses—The cost of medical care for the injury or illness is fully covered. This includes hospital stays, treatments, medications, and any necessary rehabilitation services.
  • Employment Status—Whether an employee is full-time, part-time, or seasonal can influence their compensation, particularly in terms of wage loss benefits.

How Do I File a Claim?

Are you ready to file a claim? Filing a claim is a detailed process that requires careful attention to ensure a successful outcome. Look to our attorneys for the step-by-step process to filing a claim in your specific situation, or learn the basics with our general guide:

  • Notify Your Supervisor—The process to file a claim begins before the OWCP ever gets involved. After an accident, inform your supervisor about the injury or illness as soon as possible. Federal regulations often require notification within a specific timeframe, so timeliness is crucial.
  • Seek Medical Care—Visit a doctor and keep all records pertaining to your care. You should see a physician even if you believe your injuries to be minor.
  • Complete the Necessary Forms—Fill out the required forms for filing a federal workers’ compensation claim (Form CA-1 for traumatic injuries & Form CA-2 for occupational disease). Our attorneys can ensure everything is filled out correctly to avoid unnecessary delays.
  • Gather Supporting Documentation—Collect any relevant medical records, bills, and proof of treatment related to your injury or illness. We sometimes recommend preparing a detailed statement describing the incident and how it was work-related.
  • Submit Your Claim—Submit your completed forms and supporting documentation to your agency’s human resources department, which ultimately is filed with the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP). This can be done using the internet based federal ECOMP system (The Employees’ Compensation Operations & Management Portal).
  • Follow Up on Your Claim—Keep track of your claim’s status and be prepared to provide additional information if requested by OWCP. Cooperate with any investigations or requests for further documentation.
  • Receive a Decision—Wait for the decision from OWCP on your claim. If approved, you will start receiving benefits as determined by your case. If your claim is denied, you have the right to an appeal of the decision.

Aumiller Lomax Can Guide You Through the Process

When it comes time to calculate potential workers’ compensation benefits, reach out to Aumiller Lomax for help. We have years of experience working with federal employees, and our clients come to us from all over the United States, particularly New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. You deserve to get compensation for your injuries and work toward a less stressful recovery. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.