What to Know About Workers Compensation

As a federal employee, you may be entitled to certain benefits if you were injured at work. Most employers provide workers compensation for an illness or disability that affects your performance. Some lines of work also provide coverage under federal programs such as the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act for shipyard workers and the Black Lung Benefits Act for coal miners with lung disease. You shouldn’t have to suffer financial burden for an unexpected injury, so it’s important for you to know how workers compensation can help you.

Medical Treatment

You must immediately report any injury to your employer. Not doing so within 30 days could prevent you from claiming your medical benefits. You have to seek treatment as soon as possible and call 911 when there’s an emergency. To assist you during your recovery, doctors must refer to the medical treatment utilization schedule, which is a set of guidelines they use to provide you with adequate care. Third-party administrators will review your claim to see if your treatment satisfies the criteria set by the guidelines. Some employers may also hire healthcare organizations to treat your illness. Compensation programs consider the duration of your illness, which could last for a few weeks or half a year. Temporary benefits help you while you’re recuperating from an injury or surgery. If you’re unable to work again, you can qualify for permanent benefits.

Lost Wages

In the state of California, impaired workers are entitled to two thirds of their income before taxes. When you’re on disability, your employer will calculate the set weekly payment with a minimum of $182.29. Employees cannot receive any more than $1,215.27. Lost wages are provided by personal injury coverage, so you won’t need to file a lawsuit against your employer since no party would be at fault. You will need to show medical documents and tax returns to strengthen your claim for lost wages. It’s also a good idea to send a letter to your employer that shows the number of days you missed and your typical hourly pay. You need to make sure you include accurate, detailed information because your medical provider and employer will review those records. If you give inaccurate information, you could be denied your benefits.

Returning to Work

You may be able to receive a $6,000 voucher and could qualify for the Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit. The voucher lasts for five years from the date of your injury. Through training paid for by the voucher, your vocational counselor will help redevelop your skills and interests related to your job. Alternative work may be available for you before you transition back to full employment. Counselors can even help develop your resume that emphasizes your strengths and work history.

The ideal scenario is being able to qualify for all three benefits. Your employer may help you get back into a routine based on hard work and productivity. Working under safe conditions and handling equipment properly may reduce the likelihood of injuries related to your profession. It’s highly recommended that you take advantage of compensation so you can move forward again.

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