Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Workers Compensation

  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Workers CompensationCan workers’ compensation payments be garnished? In certain circumstances, some of your worker’s compensation benefits may be subject to garnishment.

  • Can workers’ compensation run concurrently with FMLA? You can receive workers’ compensation benefits while on FMLA leave.

  • Can workers’ compensation claims be retroactive? Workers’ compensation benefits can be paid now for benefits that should have been paid in the past, but there is a limit as to how far back such payments can be required.

  • How is workers’ compensation calculated? Workers’ compensation benefits are calculated based on your average weekly wage and the extent of your damages or injury.

  • How are workers’ compensation benefits paid? Workers’ compensation benefits are paid regularly, like a paycheck.

  • Are workers’ compensation benefits taxable? Workers compensation benefits are generally not taxable but in certain circumstances, they can be.

  • What if I work on a federal defense base? Am I still covered if I am injured? If you are injured on the job on a federal defense base, you may still have a claim for injuries though perhaps not through traditional workers’ compensation.

  • What if I work for a federal contractor? Is there some special coverage for me if I’m injured? If you work for a federal contractor, you may be entitled to benefits for injuries sustained on the job but through a different mechanism than traditional workers’ compensation insurance.

  • What does the Defense Base Act cover? The Defense Base Act provides workers’ compensation protection to civilian employees working outside the United States on US military bases or under a contract with the U.S. government for public works or national defense. The Defense Base Act provides disability, medical, and death benefits to covered employees injured or killed in the course of employment, whether or not the injury or death occurred during work hours. Compensation for total disability is two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly earnings, up to a current maximum of $1,030.78 per week. Compensation also is payable for partial loss of earnings. Death benefits are half of the employee’s average weekly earnings to the surviving spouse or one child, and two-thirds of earnings for two or more such survivors, up to the current maximum weekly rate. Permanent total disability and death benefits may be payable for life and are subject to annual cost of living adjustments. There is no minimum compensation rate. Permanent disability and death benefits payable to aliens and non-U.S. residents may be commuted by payment of half of the present value of future compensation, as determined by the OWCP district director. The injured employee is entitled to medical treatment by a physician of his/her choice, as the injury may require. Medical benefits may not be commuted.

  • When does Defense Base Act apply? Working for private employers on U.S. military bases or any lands used by the U.S. for military purposes outside of the United States, including those in U.S. Territories and possessions; working on public work contracts with any U.S. government agency, including construction and service contracts in connection with national defense or with war activities outside the United States; working on contracts approved and funded by the U.S. under the Foreign Assistance Act, generally providing for cash sale of military equipment, materials, and services to its allies, if the contract is performed outside of the United States; working for American employers providing welfare or similar services outside of the United States for the benefit of the Armed Forces, e.g. the USO.

  • What is the statute of limitations for filing a Defense Base Act claim? The employer should notify its insurance carrier, or if it is self-insured the claims administrator, as soon as it knows an injury. Medical treatment if needed should be authorized immediately. An Employer’s First Report of Injury, Form LS-202, must be filed with the OWCP within 10 days of the injury if it causes the loss of one or more work shifts. A written claim for benefits must be filed with OWCP within one year of the injury or one year from the last payment of compensation, whichever is later.

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