Can Postal Workers Collect Workers' Compensation - morgan and morgan
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Can Postal Workers Collect Workers' Compensation?

Can Postal Workers Collect Workers' Compensation?

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Can Postal Workers Collect Workers' Compensation?

Postal workers often find themselves in hazardous and physically demanding situations during a typical workday. Cluttered walkways, aggressive dogs, heavy packages, and dangerous drivers are just some of the daily health hazards encountered by our mail carriers. Those in the sorting rooms and post offices can also suffer injuries in work accidents or due to repetitive movements. However, if you get injured on the job or develop a work-related illness, you are generally entitled to postal workers’ compensation benefits. 

Unfortunately, obtaining the compensation you deserve after getting hurt can turn into a challenging and lengthy process. However, you do not have to battle alone to get what you deserve. Morgan & Morgan fights hard for injured workers. We want you to receive the compensation you need to move forward with your life and support your family. Our lawyers can assess your specific case and identify all potential avenues for compensation. Contact us now for help with your postal workers’ compensation claim. 

What Is USPS Workers’ Compensation?

If a USPS employee or other federal worker is injured at work or becomes ill due to their work duties, they are generally covered by the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA). Workers can qualify for various benefits, including wage loss, disability, medical treatments, and vocational help. Dependents of postal workers who died as a result of their work-related illness or condition could qualify for death benefits. FECA is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs. The agency determines workers’ eligibility and pays out benefits directly to the injured workers or their beneficiaries. 

Benefits Injured Postal Workers Can Collect

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), transportation workers such as mail carriers are at particular risk of suffering injuries and fatalities on the job. However, injuries can occur in various postal work environments, such as the sorting rooms or at USPS retail post offices. If you get injured at work, you could be entitled to benefits, including: 

Wage Replacement Benefits

You could qualify for continuation of pay for up to 45 days if you suffered traumatic injuries on the job. In general, Continuation of Pay (COP) provides injured postal workers with their regular pay for up to 45 calendar days following an acute work injury. Postal workers have to request COP and submit the relevant medical evidence. Employees with occupational diseases do not qualify for COP. If you cannot return to work after the 45 days have passed, you could qualify for additional payments under the FECA.

Medical Benefits

Under FECA, an injured postal worker qualifies for having all their medical costs paid provided they are “reasonable and necessary” for treating the work-related disease or injury. Disabled workers needing around-the-clock care could be entitled to an additional monthly amount to help pay for their medical requirements. 

Disability Benefits

Disabled workers are generally entitled to collect benefits whether they are partially or totally disabled. 

Partial Disability

Partial disability occurs if you can no longer work in your particular job but could adjust to part-time work or a different position. In this case, you could be entitled to wage loss benefits for loss of income arising from receiving a lower wage due to your partial disability.

Total Disability

If your work injury impacts you severely and you cannot work again, you can apply for total disability benefits and could receive monthly payments of:

  • Two-thirds of your prior wage if you are single
  • 75 percent of your previous monthly wage if you have dependents

Vocational Benefits

As an injured postal worker, you could be entitled to vocational rehabilitation training and help with finding a job under FECA. You may also have to participate in a mandatory vocational rehabilitation program.

Death Benefits for Surviving Dependents

When a postal worker dies during work or due to a work-related illness, their dependents may be entitled to death benefits under the FECA. Eligible family members could include any family member dependent on the employee’s financial support, including:

  • Spouses
  • Children
  • Siblings
  • Parents
  • Grandparents 

The amount of compensation available to injured postal workers and their dependents can vary depending on the circumstances.

Getting injured on the job can derail your life instantly, especially if you are permanently disabled. However, as a federal employee, you deserve certain benefits that help manage your life after suffering a work-related condition or injury. Knowing what you are entitled to when you get hurt at work can be confusing. If you are unsure which benefits you qualify for or are currently not receiving what you need, our experienced workers’ comp lawyers could help.

Common Postal Worker Injuries

Postal workers can be prone to accidents and injuries as a result of their daily duties. Some common postal worker accidents and injuries include: 

Slips and Falls

Mail carriers are working in all types of weather and hazardous conditions. They may be navigating uneven surfaces, cracks in sidewalks, and poorly lit areas every day while handling mail and packages. It is hardly surprising that postal workers trip and fall often. Workers in sorting facilities and post offices can also experience slip-and-fall accidents due to slippery floors, cluttered walkways, or other hazardous conditions. 

Vehicle Accidents

Vehicle accidents can occur for numerous reasons, including another driver’s fault or postal worker fatigue. Traffic accidents can also happen due to a defective postal car or potholes and other road defects. Postal workers on rural routes, in particular, can suffer from a high rate of work-related vehicle accident injuries. Severe crashes can cause devastating and permanent injuries.

Repetitive Strain

Repetitive strain injuries can arise due to a postal worker repeating the same motions over a long period of time, such as reaching to fetch mail from the back of the vehicle. Repetitive strain injuries can affect both clerks and mail handlers. Making the same movements over months and years can cause injury to tendons, muscles, and nerves. Common repetitive strain injuries include:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Back and Neck pain
  • Shoulder problems
  • Rotator cuff tears

Dog Bites

According to the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), over 5,800 postal workers suffered dog bites and attacks in 2020. Dog bites can cause various injuries, including lacerations, deep puncture wounds, and infections.

Violence

Mail carriers deal with the general public every day, making them an easy target for violent attacks and assaults. Identity thieves can also attack postal workers to intercept mail. 

What You Should Do as an Injured Postal Worker  

If you get injured at work or suffer from work-related disease, you should act immediately to qualify for benefits. In the first instance, inform your supervisor or employer of the injury as soon as the accident happens. Failing to promptly report the accident and injury could make it much harder for you to obtain your benefits under the FECA. 

The Claims Process 

If you are injured on the job, you will not receive benefits automatically but will have to file a claim first. FECA claims are processed by the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP), which will make a decision based on the medical evidence you submit. 
 
Depending on whether you suffered a traumatic injury or an occupational disease, you have to fill in one of the following two forms to apply for benefits:

CA-1 Federal Employee's Notice of Traumatic Injury and Claim for Continuation of Pay/Compensation
 
CA-2 Notice of Occupational Disease and Claim for Compensation 

You Can Appeal Against Claim Denials 

If your claim for worker’s compensation is denied, you will have the option to appeal. Your denial notice will include information on how to appeal against a denial. Appeals can be challenging and take several months or longer. If you received a denial letter, consider contacting an attorney who could help you fight for what you deserve after getting injured at work.

Morgan & Morgan Has Your Back 

The process of receiving federal workers’ compensation benefits can be complex. However, if you get injured at work, you deserve financial help. If you find it tough to recover what you need to put your life back together, Morgan & Morgan can be here for you. Our tenacious workers’ compensation lawyers have helped countless injured postal workers and families receive their due. We can assist you with filing your claim, gathering the evidence needed, and fighting appeals. 

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FAQ

Morgan & Morgan

  • Can I File a Lawsuit Against a Negligent Homeowner?

    Applying for postal workers’ compensation may not be the only way to get justice and compensation if you got injured at work. Postal workers are often hurt when encountering hazards due to homeowners’ negligence. If you suffered injuries in a slip and fall due to a dangerous condition or in a dog attack, you could potentially sue the property owner. Taking legal action can allow you to recover payments in addition to your federal benefits, such as awards for pain and suffering and other damages. An attorney at Morgan & Morgan can analyze your case and help you move forward with a legal claim.
     

  • When Do My Survivor’s Benefits End? 

    When your loved one passes away due to a work accident, your whole world can fall apart. You might also worry about how to go on financially after losing your loved one’s support. However, surviving spouses are generally entitled to receive survivor’s benefit for the rest of their lives unless they decide to remarry before age 55. Dependent minor children can generally receive death benefit payments until they turn 18 or, if still in full-time education, until they are 22.
     

  • Which Injuries Are Not Covered by FECA?

    Postal workers hoping to receive benefits under FECA must have suffered an injury while performing job duties or have developed an occupation-related disease. The federal workers’ compensation program does not cover injuries arising during a worker’s commute to work or recreational activities. Workers injured due to intoxication or under the influence of drugs are generally disqualified from receiving workers’ compensation.

  • Can I Get Postal Workers’ Comp for COVID-19?

    You may be able to get workers’ compensation when you contract COVID-19 at work. Certain federal employees who frequently interact with the public and in close proximity, such as postal workers, are considered more likely to catch the disease. Generally, to qualify for benefits, you need to show:  

    • A positive COVID-19 test result (excluding home tests) 
    • Contact with patients, co-workers, or members of the public within 21 days of your diagnosis of COVID-19
  • Do I Need a Lawyer to Collect Federal Workers’ Compensation?

    If you have a minor injury and receive your workers’ comp benefits without any issues, you may not need a lawyer. However, if you suffered a severe or disabling injury and are struggling to receive your full benefits, a lawyer can help you learn about your legal rights and fight for what you deserve. Working with an experienced and dedicated attorney can be crucial when:

    • You need help with filing a complex claim
    • Your workers’ comp claim was denied
    • You suffer from a pre-existing condition that impacts your claim
    • A property owner or other third party is responsible for your injuries
  • Morgan & Morgan Fights for Postal Workers’ Rights

    Work injuries not only take a toll on your health but can also impact your finances and emotional health. If you get hurt at work, you should not have to suffer financial hardship and deserve to be treated with dignity. Morgan & Morgan is here for you, whether you need help with filing a postal workers’ compensation claim or have to fight a denial. We could help you receive the benefits you need, such as compensation for your wage losses and medical expenses. 

    In addition, we can analyze your case to determine whether you could have a case against a negligent third party and recover additional damages. Our clients are like family to us. We want to help you get the best possible outcome so you receive what you need to get back on your feet. Our qualified and compassionate attorneys can leave no stone unturned in helping you and your family. Contact Morgan & Morgan now to schedule a free consultation. 

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