Workers Comp Info: Basic Information on Workers Compensation Programs

by on 10/04/2011 - 01:12 am |

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Workers Comp Info: Basic Information on Workers Compensation Programs

Workers Comp Info


Workers Comp Info: Importance to Workers 

Workers comp info must be fully understood by every employed and contract worker. Full awareness of the entire compensation program allows every worker to optimize the enjoyment of their benefits. Each company may have its own employee compensation and benefits package, but to protect every worker from being paid lower than they deserve in the event of work-related injuries, the Office of Workers’ Compensation Program (OWCP) provides additional protection to injured workers.
Keep in mind that there are 4 main disability compensation programs that workers are entitled to. These programs provide vocational rehabilitation, medical treatment, and wage replacement benefits to workers involved in work-related injuries. Each of these programs is managed by a separate division. 
The four divisions that handle the major disability compensation programs of the OWCP are the following:
  • The Division of Coal Mine Worker’s Compensation (DCMWC)
  • The Division of Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation (DLHWC)
  • The Division of Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation (DEEOIC)
  • The Division of Federal Employees’ Compensation (DFEC)
It is, therefore, important for every worker to know what division to visit and report the incident, in case there are injuries during accidents while performing the required duties.

Workers Comp Info for Federal Employees

All workers in both government and private sectors are entitled to compensation and benefits for injuries and diseases that are related to work. This is governed by the Federal Employee’s Compensation Act (FECA) and administered by the OWCP. It is best to remember that due compensation is only paid if the sustained injury is the result of accident during work, or an assault by a co-worker. If the injuries are the result of a wilful act on the part of the worker, the employee is not entitled to the compensation stipulated by the FECA.

Workers Comp Information on Disability

Workers who are totally or temporarily disabled due to work-related accidents can request for the continuation of regular pay for up certain number of days, depending on the type of disability. But this should not continue beyond 45 days. After this period, the employee can file paid sick leaves; or sick leave without pay if there are no more sick leave credits left.

Workers Compensation Information on Medical Benefits

Injured workers while performing their duties, or inside the company premises, are entitled to medical benefits that cover hospital and surgical expenses. Take note that the injured worker has the right to initially choose the qualified physician to manage the treatment, including the hospital of choice. Any changes after the initial choices are made must require proper authorization from the OWCP; otherwise, the OWCP is not liable for the expenses incurred during the treatment.

Workers Compensation Info on Death

In the event of death during work, FECA mandates due payment to the dependents of the concerned person. However, this only applies if the injuries or disease that led to death were not caused by the wilful misconduct of the worker. The same holds true for death caused by abuse of drugs or alcohol.
Provided that death of a worker is work-related, some of the important highlights under the compensation plan must be kept in mind. The surviving spouse of the worker is entitled to 50% or half of the basic pay of the employee at the time of death. The compensation stops upon death of the surviving spouse, or if the spouse remarries below the age of 55.  If there are eligible children, the percentage amount is reduced to 45% for the spouse, while each eligible child gets 15% of the pay. Compensation for the children terminates upon reaching 18 years of age. But the child can still enjoy the compensation if the child pursues further education after high school at an accredited school, and completes a four-year course. This will end upon graduation or upon reaching the age of 23.
If there is no spouse and the children are the surviving family members, then the eldest eligible child is entitled to 40% of the pay, while the other eligible children are entitled to 15% of the pay for each child. For those with numerous children, the company should not pay more than 75% of the employee’s pay.

In any case, sufficient knowledge on the existing regulations on work-related injuries can significantly help workers and their dependents from being paid the compensation and benefits that are lower than they deserve. It is the duty of every worker to be properly educated on the workers comp info in order to maximize the compensation, in the event of work-related injuries or occupational illnesses.


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