Federal workers compensation began as an act that was passed by congress in 1908 for federal employees. Today, each state has its own list of laws relating to workers comp that are designed to compensate employees who have incurred medical expenses and lost wages as a result of a workplace injury. The fact that workers compensation is a federally-based program that is nationwide while the details of coverage are left to the state means that there are some similarities and differences in how claims are handled in every state.
In every state, workers compensation affords a fair solution to both the employer and the employee. When the employer agrees to the terms of workers comp, they no longer have the right to sue the employer. The amount of recovery they receive as a result can vary greatly from one state to the next. In many states, laws have been put in place to cap the maximum amount that a person can receive under federal workers compensation.
The employer also loses the ability to defend the claim of negligence made on the part of the employee. These are no-fault systems which are designed to be fair to both parties involved and to protect employees when they receive an injury at work that prevents them from earning the income they need to support themselves and their dependents and provides medical coverage for any related treatment required.
Only some injuries fall under the heading of federal workers compensation including:
• Physical injuries are not limited to those that occur as an impact to the body. They can also extend to include respiratory problems from breathing in toxins or particles as well as the development of conditions that occur from performing the same motion over and over. In areas where employees are exposed to frequent, high-pitch noises, hearing loss is also considered a physical injury.
• In some cases, conditions that were already in existence can be covered under workers comp if the working conditions speed up their progression or aggravate the symptoms.
• Simply being on the premises for the purpose of working is considered the same as being actively engaged in performing job duties. Even if you are in the break room eating lunch and are electrocuted by the microwave, the resulting injuries would be considered a physical injury that is work-related.
• Mental conditions are also considered injuries when they occur in response to stress brought on by superiors behavior or other conditions of the job that place undue stress on the individual.
Types of injuries not covered under federal workers compensation are those that occur from the employee’s actions which are against the policies of the company or which happen when they are intoxicated or under the influence of a substance that impairs their judgment.
When an employee receives an injury from an incident at work or over the long-term that they suspect is caused by work-related conditions, they should see a doctor who specializes in treating injuries covered under federal workers compensation. Employees should never be tempted to hide their injuries because they feel their job may be at risk or that they will no longer be permitted to perform their job. Taking the right action and getting a professional diagnosis is the first step towards getting the compensation and the medical treatment you need and deserve.
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