FECA: Workers’ Compensation for Federal Employees
The Federal Employees’ Compensation Act, or FECA, provides workers’ compensation benefits to civilian employees of the United States government who become injured or ill in the course of employment. FECA is similar to the workers’ compensation programs administered by the states, but it applies only to federal employees and follows its own set of rules and regulations.
Medical and Disability Benefits
Employees of the federal government may be entitled to receive FECA benefits if they suffer a workplace injury or contract an employment-related illness. The FECA provides compensation for medical costs associated with work-related injuries and also provides disability benefits to employees who are temporarily or permanently unable to work as a result of an injury or illness incurred in the course of employment.
Under the FECA, a worker who is temporarily unable to work because of a work-related injury may request a continuation of pay from his or her employer for up to 45 days. If the disability continues beyond 45 days, the employee may be able to receive compensation for lost wages.
If a workplace injury permanently interferes with an employee’s ability to work, he or she may be able to receive compensation for loss of earning capacity. Injured workers can also receive compensation under the FECA if their injuries result in a permanent impairment or disfigurement, such as the amputation of a limb or partial loss of vision.
Benefits for Surviving Dependents
When a federal employee is killed in the course of employment or dies of an employment-related illness, his or her dependents may be able to receive benefits under the FECA. Eligible family members usually include the spouse and/or minor children of the deceased employee, but may include siblings, parents, grandparents or other individuals who were dependent on the employee for their support.
Eligibility for benefits and the exact amount of compensation available to injured federal employees and their families depend on the specific circumstances of each case. To learn more about your rights and options if you or a loved one has suffered a work-related injury or illness, speak with a lawyer who is experienced in seeking compensation for injured U.S. government employees.