Workers’ Compensation for Federal Employees

Employees of the federal government have an entirely different set of workers’ compensation laws to follow. Colorado workers’ compensation laws do not apply to federal employees.

Workers’ compensation laws, rules and procedures are managed by the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) in the Department of Labor (DOL). The head of the DOL is a member of the President’s cabinet and is subject to confirmation by the Senate upon appointment.

More specifically, the OWCP manages four separate compensation programs for injured workers that provide wage-loss benefits, medical treatment and vocational training for injured workers and their dependents. These include:

•    Division of Federal Employees Compensation (DFEC) – Extends workers’ compensation coverage to over 3 million civilian employees worldwide, including postal workers, for on-the-job injuries and occupational diseases.

•    Division of Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation (DEEOIC) – Specific compensation program for employees of the Department of Energy, related agencies who preceded it and any contractors and subcontractors. Also includes DOE employees designated as Atomics Weapons Employers and worked in the testing and development of nuclear weapons.

•    Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation (DLHWC) – Provides medical treatment, wage loss benefits and job retraining for workers injured in the navigable waters of the U.S. This includes port workers, longshoreman and other maritime workers injured in the course of their employment.

•    Division of Coal Mine Workers’ Compensation (DCMWC) – Provides monthly benefits to coal miners totally disabled from black lung disease and monthly benefits to any dependents if disease results in death.

It’s important to know – these benefits only cover workers in the direct employ of the federal government. Any contractors and sub-contractors are subject to state law

So for example, if you’re working for a contractor who’s doing a job at a federal government building, you’re covered by the Colorado workers’ compensation system, not the federal system.

If you’ve been injured working for a contractor of the federal government in Colorado and are experiencing difficulty in obtaining your full benefits, contact Denver workers’ compensation attorneys at the Babcock Law Firm today for a free consultation.

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