Are Public Employees Covered by Workers Compensation?
By Space Coast Daily // January 28, 2021
A public employee is an individual who is employed by a governmental agency. This includes a municipality government agency, a state government agency or a federal government agency.
A public employee is also an individual who is employed by a state university or a state college. So, are you covered by workers compensation if you are a public employee?
The short answer is if you are a government employee, there are separate workers compensation regulations that apply. Federal employees are ruled by federal law. Local and state public employees are governed by state law. And some occupations, such as seamen and railroad employees have separate regulations.
Workers Compensation for Federal Workers
There are different programs for federal employees when it comes to workers compensation. When a federal employee is either injured or killed during the scope of their employment, that person is entitled to recover benefits under the Federal Employees Compensation Act.
The type of position that the person held or the length of time they were employed plays no role. The benefits under this act include recovery for wage loss and recovery for medical expenses.
Vocational benefits are also available when an individual who works for the federal government becomes injured in the scope of their employment. The benefits given to this employee come from the Employees Compensation Fund, which is managed by the workers compensation program.
There are other acts in place for special occupations. For example, the Federal Employer’s Liability Act provides benefits for railroad workers.
The Longshore Harbor and Workers Compensation Act provides benefits for longshoremen and other individuals with maritime jobs. The Jones Act provides benefits for seamen. In addition, there are other statutes in place for special occupations.
The Defense Base Act, the Deaths on the High Seas Act and the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act provides benefits for those employees working outside of the country and those employees working on defense bases.
Local and State Employees
For local and state employees, there are state specific workers compensation statues that determine what an employee is entitled to. If you need to find out more about your state’s program, take a look at the mandatory poster in your workplace.
This poster will outline the coverage available to you and provide you with a phone number should you have any questions. If you don’t see the poster, just ask your employer. The poster should also outline how to file a worker’s compensation claim.
You can also contact your employers human resource department or your employer’s legal department to get information on workers compensation.
It is important to note that most state statues do not allow the payment of workers compensation benefits if you are an official of the state. Those individuals who work as police officers, sanitation workers or firefighters may also have a different set of regulations for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
If you’re unsure about your right to file for workers’ comp, contact an attorney. An attorney can assist you in many ways with a worker’s compensation claim. An attorney can advise you on how to file a worker’s compensation claim. plus, they can assist you if you have any problems with your claim.
For example, if your employer refuses to pay your benefits, and attorney can help you. If your employer doesn’t pay you the full benefits that you’re entitled to, and attorney can assist you.
And if your employer disagrees on the extent of your disability, and attorney can also help you with this. An attorney can also help explain the workers compensation law that applies to you.
Sometimes, a workers’ compensation claim runs smoothly, and sometimes it does not. That’s when you need an attorney. If your workers compensation claim is denied, it is in your best interest to hire an attorney.
Your employer may allege that your injury is not work related or that you filed your claim too late. There also may be a dispute with your employer on the extent of your disability. Your employer may also insist that you see their own medical doctor.
Likely, their medical doctor will underestimate the extent of your injuries. An attorney can help you get a higher award from your injuries. If you have a pre-existing condition, it can be even more of an uphill battle for you to get workers compensation benefits.
Your employer may even deny certain medical treatment, such as surgery. An attorney will put pressure on your employer’s insurance company to get you the medical treatment that you need.
If you’ve been caused a serious injury while in the scope of your employment, it is likely that your future to work may be affected. You need an attorney to maximize your benefits and structure them in a way where your future is protected.
Is an attorney worth the cost? The answer is absolutely. With an attorney in your corner, you will get a better settlement for your injury.