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Delayed federal workers’ comp can turn injuries into disabilities

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2024 | Federal Employment Law

Federal employees who suffer job-related injuries do not go through the same process for getting workers’ compensation that most workers do. Instead, federal agencies have their own workers’ comp system. Unfortunately, federal workers often must endure serious delays in their workers’ compensation claims. These delays can lead to treatable injuries becoming permanent disabilities, affecting workers’ careers and lives.

As NBC News has reported, federal employees must deal with complex paperwork and long response times. In some cases, it can take years for a claim to be approved — time most people dealing with a debilitating injury do not have. This has affected employees across various federal agencies, from the Federal Bureau of Prisons to the U.S. Postal Service.

Impact of administrative delays

While waiting weeks or months for the Office of Workers’ Compensation Program to approve necessary medical procedures or scans, the health of the injured employee can deteriorate. This can transform an initially relatively minor injury into a long-term disability, complicating their recovery and return to work.

The emotional toll on employees

The wait for claim approvals is not just a physical challenge but also an emotional one. Many federal workers experience stress and anxiety as they navigate the slow process, which can exacerbate their health problems. The emotional strain of dealing with a bureaucratic system while injured can be overwhelming.

The OWCP has acknowledged these issues and says it is actively working to improve the situation by implementing new strategies and increasing staff.

Don’t give up on workers’ compensation

If you are a federal worker and been hurt on the job, you deserve workers’ comp to help make up for your lost wages and pay your medical bills. An attorney who represents injured federal employees can help reduce delays and fight to ensure you get the benefits you deserve.


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