An in-depth look at FECA

FECA is the Federal Employment Compensation Act. It is the law that allows all federal employees to seek workers’ compensation claims. If you are a federal employee that is injured while on the job, then you will file your FECA claim with the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs. You will always file a claim under FECA regardless of how long you worked for the federal government.

FECA provides that your medical expenses and lost wages will be reimbursed if you are injured or become sick as a result of performing your duties as a federal employee. This means that you are covered so long as you were working at the time of your injury.

The next question is, “who qualifies as a federal employee?” All civilian employees are covered, except for some narrow job categories that are excluded. By statute, this definition was also expanded to include:

  • Peace Corps volunteers.
  • Vista volunteers.
  • Grand jurors.
  • Non-federal law enforcement officers for injuries sustained while dealing with certain criminal activity against the United States.
  • Volunteer members of the Civil Air Patrol, Reserve Officer Training Cadets and other federal programs.

Now to the real question of “what do you need to file a claim?” It will probably be easier if you speak to an attorney before filing your application because there are strict timing and formatting requirements. First, you will need to prove that your claim was filed within the appropriate time limit. Second, that you are an employee of the federal government. Third, you actually developed a medical condition. Fourth, that you were on the job when you were hurt. Finally, that your medical problems are the result of your injuries on the job.b.

FECA claims can be complicated, and the last thing you need is to have your claim denied or delayed because of a paperwork snafu. An experienced attorney may be helpful in organizing your thoughts to file your claim. At the very least, you will want to confirm that you are filing within the appropriate time frame. There are few things more frustrating than governmental bureaucracy. Take the time to speak to someone who knows it well.

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