Federal Workers’ Compensation


By Jason Weinstock on January 6, 2015

I do not practice federal workers’ compensation law, but recently met an excellent attorney at a national work comp conference who does handle these cases. As he explains in his guest post below, while you may live in Nevada, because federal law is the same in every state, it makes sense to hire the best federal work comp attorney even if he is physically located across the country. I am referring all clients with federal work comp questions to Dan. His contact information is below. Virginia Hunt

The Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA) covers traumatic injury claims and occupational disease or illness claims for most all civilian employees of the United States government, including temporary employees, contract employees and volunteers who are injured during the course of and as result of their employment. Benefits include wage loss compensation, medical benefits, vocational rehabilitation benefits, survivor benefits and payment for permanent partial disability to specified parts of the body. FECA is administered by the United States Department of Labor, Office of Worker’s Compensation Programs (OWCP), Division of Federal Employee Compensation which has 12 district offices serving various regions of the country (http://www.dol.gov/owcp/dfec/). OWCP plays a hybrid role as not only the adjudicator of the claim, but it is also designated to assist the employee in the development of the claim. All claims are submitted and initially determine by a paper filing. If an appeal is necessary, it is heard administratively in an informal manner with no courts or judges involved. FECA is a unique statutory scheme unlike any other worker compensation law in the country.

A lawyer may represent a government employee FECA claimant no matter where that employee resides or is employed as the law is uniform amongst all states and U.S. territories and all FECA practitioners have a national practice. Personal appearances at hearings or appeals are not required and often times they are conducted by video conference or telephonically. There are no more than approximately 20 lawyers in the country the majority of whose practice is FECA.

 

Daniel B. Shapiro, Esq., a graduate of Boston University and New England Law Boston, is a frequent lecturer on the Federal Employees Compensation Act and practice before the Office of Worker Compensation Programs of the United States Department of Labor. He has addressed and advised many local branches of federal employee unions and their individual members on their worker compensation rights for over thirty-eight years. He is the vice-president of the FECA Law and Advisory Group, a national organization of OWCP claimant representatives. Shapiro & Associates (http://www.shapirolaw.com/) is the single largest provider of FECA legal services in the country.

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