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Postal Service Workers’ Compensation Benefits

The job of a postal worker can be physically demanding, consisting of long hours, and even dangerous. If you’ve suffered an injury while on the job as a postal worker, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. 

At Morgan & Morgan, we fight to help those who have suffered recover the compensation that they are entitled to and that they require to support themselves and their families. We’ve been helping employees recover damages through work compensation claims for decades. We have attorneys all across the country, so no matter where you were injured, we can help. Contact us today for a free case evaluation so we can determine if you’re entitled to compensation.

The Federal Employees’ Compensation Act

The Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA) is the federal workers’ compensation program for federal employees, such as postal workers. Because postal workers are federal employees, they must file for federal unemployment. FECA offers coverage to civilian employees who sustain work-related injuries. It provides monetary compensation and medical benefits and it also assists people in returning to work once they’re able. Monetary compensation is intended to help workers who have lost income as a result of an injury.

Additionally, monetary compensation is often provided for workers who suffered permanent impairment. For medical benefits, there is payment for reasonable and necessary medical treatment that arises from the work-related injury or disease, as long as the treatment is likely to cure, relieve, or lessen the period of disability. Additionally, FECA provides benefits to dependents of the employee if a work-related injury or disease leads to death of the employee.
 

Specific Postal Service Workers’ Compensation Benefits

1.     Continuation of Pay

If you’ve suffered a traumatic injury while on the job, you are entitled to continuation of pay for up to 45 days. You should receive 100 percent of your normal rate of pay at the time you suffered the injury. Interestingly, this is considered salary and not workers’ comp benefits, so this money will be taxed the same way as your normal wages are taxed. If you are out of work for longer than 45 days, it will be considered partial or total disability under FECA.

2.     Partial Disability

If you’re unable to work full-time because of an injury you suffered on the job, but you are able to work part-time or you can switch to a lower paying position, you are considered partially disabled. You will be entitled to the following postal service workers’ compensation benefits:

  •        If you are single, you will receive a monthly benefit that is equal to 66 percent of the difference between your pay before you were injured and your pay after you were injured
  •        If you have at least one dependent or a spouse, you will receive monthly payments of seventy five percent of the difference between your pay before you were injured and your pay after you were injured

Benefits will be paid for as long as the disability exists, or for the life of the beneficiary.

3.     Total Disability

If you are no longer able to work at all, then you are considered totally disabled. In this case, you are eligible for the following postal service workers’ compensation benefits:

  •        If you are single, you will receive a monthly payment of two thirds of your monthly wage before you were injured
  •        If you have at least one dependent, including a spouse, you will receive a monthly payment equal to seventy five percent of your monthly wage before you were injured

4.     Death

If an employee dies while working, or passes away as a result of a latent condition that was caused by their employment, the employee’s survivors may be eligible for the following benefits:

  •        If the employee was married but had no children, the spouse can collect a monthly payment equal to fifty percent of the employee’s monthly wage at the time of their death
  •        If the employee had a spouse and children, the spouse is eligible to receive a monthly payment equal to forty five percent of the employee’s monthly wage at the time that they passed away. Additionally, each child can receive a monthly payment equal to 15 percent of the employee’s monthly wage at the time of their death

5.     Medical Benefits

All medical costs that are associated with the treatment of an injury or illness that is covered by FECA will be paid in full by the federal government. An employee receiving benefits under FECA is not responsible for coinsurance or any other costs associated with their medical treatment. The employee does not have to use their personal insurance for any covered medical services. The medical provider that the employee uses must be authorized by the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP). If an employee is blind, paralyzed, or otherwise disabled to the extent that they need constant medical care, they may receive an additional $1,500 per month to help pay for their medical needs.

6.     Vocational Rehabilitation

When an employee is injured on the job, the Secretary of Labor may require a FECA beneficiary to take part in vocational rehabilitation. This will be paid for by the federal government. While participating in vocational rehabilitation, the employee may also receive an additional $200 per month.
Additionally, while an injured employee is receiving FECA benefits and not working, they will not make any contributions to retirement. However, they continue to accrue time in service for the purpose of retirement eligibility.
 

Common USPS Work Injuries That Lead To Postal Service Workers’ Compensation Benefits

1.     Injuries From Repetitive Motions

Many mail handlers and/or clerks suffer injuries that are related to repeating the same motions consistently for a long period of time. For example, mail carriers carry their bags on the same shoulder as they complete their route. Keep in mind, it’s not just the bag. Letters and packages add up in weight, and carrying that on your shoulder can cause quite the strain. Mail handlers, in contrast, might sort and push mail and packages all day basically every day. By repeating these same motions over and over again, they can damage nerves, muscles, and tendons. Common injuries relating to these motions include back issues, shoulder issues, rotator cuff tears, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
 

2.     Dog Bites

According to reports from the United States Postal Service, around 6,000 postal workers are attacked by dogs each year. Approximately 20 percent of these bites cause injuries that are severe enough to require medical attention. Sometimes they are so severe that they require reconstructive surgery. In these cases, they are likely entitled to postal service workers’ compensation benefits.

3.     Slip and Falls

Mail carriers work in every type of weather. They work in excessive heat, rain, ice, snow, and thunderstorms. It’s inevitable that at some point, some postal workers will slip and fall and end up injuring themselves, no matter how careful they are. In addition to the weather, there’s dangerous sidewalks that homeowners don’t pay attention to, potholes in the street that cities and contractors don’t fix, and poorly maintained lighting that makes it difficult to see where you’re going.

4.     Motor Vehicle Accidents

Many postal workers spend a lot of time in the car or in a postal vehicle being used for work, driving from place to place to deliver mail and packages. The longer and more often anyone is on the road, the more likely they are to be involved in a motor vehicle accident.
 

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