How To Protect Your Federal Workman Compensation Benefits

Among the rights of workmen in any state is compensation in times of injury or health-related problems ensuing from the workplace. The US Department of Labor has jurisdiction over the Office of Workmen’s Compensation Program (OWCP), which is a federal office that oversees various programs involving occupational hazards.

As a workman, you have your rights, and among these are compensation when you are injured in the workplace, or if you get sick as a result from factors from the workplace (such as pollutants, poisonous materials, and the like). You would have to adhere to certain laws and conditions for you to be eligible for federal workman's compensation benefits, though, so it pays to know both your rights and responsibilities.

Follow laws, rules and procedures.
To be safely within the coverage of workman’s compensation, you need to ensure that you are working within the legal framework of your state, and within your company rules and regulations. For example, you will need to remain sober while at work. Keep away from intoxicating substances like alcohol and drugs. Avoid participating in fights and injuring yourself through self-inflicted means (under which fighting is covered). If you get into an accident because of intoxication or fights, then you might lose eligibility.

Inform the authorities as soon as injury occurs. If you encounter an accident, or if you are hurt while on the job, get in touch with your supervisor as soon as possible. If you are working in the field, call your supervisor immediately, or ask a colleague to help you call. If you are working at the same physical site, then visit your supervisor immediately. He should be able to help you get treatment, and to fill in the necessary forms.

Get medical help.
If your injury is serious, have a colleague call 911 immediately. If the injury is not an emergency, then you will need to proceed to an accredited hospital. Check with your company’s Human Resource department for information on where you can go. Your company might be using different forms and claims processors (such as an HMO). What’s important is to get medical help as soon as possible.

File claims on time. The OWCP usually has a prescribed period for filing claims. If the hospital you undergo treatment from determines that claim should be filed, then they might do it on your behalf. If you are required to submit these filings yourself, then make sure you complete and file the claim as soon as you can. Depending on your state, this can be done through mailing the forms to the OWCP in your state. Some jurisdictions require that the form be filled by both the supervisor and employee.

Seek help from a lawyer.
When in doubt, seek help from someone who is knowledgeable about workmen’s rights in your state or locality. You can get in touch with a lawyer to review your claim, and make recommendations for revisions or changes as necessary. This is important, as you might inadvertently include wrong information on your form, which might delay processing of your claim.


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