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Government Employee Workers’ Compensation Claims in Tennessee

Nashville attorneys fighting for injured and ill state and federal employees

If you’re hurt on the job, you’re likely eligible for Tennessee workers’ compensation benefits. Under state law, all businesses with more than five employees are mandated to provide workers’ compensation insurance to cover their employees in the event of an on-the-job injury or illness.

However, if you work for the federal government, your workers’ compensation works a little differently. Many federal workers are paid through federal workers’ compensation programs. Military personnel usually receive medical treatment though the Veterans Administration. As a government employee, if you’re injured on the job, it’s important you understand your rights to workers’ compensation, the benefits available to you, and your rights and protections.

At Rocky McElhaney Law Firm, we understand the various types of plans for different workers. We know how to correctly file your claim with the right state and federal agencies. Our Nashville workers’ compensation lawyers guide you through the claims process. We fight insurance company and government efforts to deny or limit your coverage. We work to get your full medical benefits paid so you can return to work or achieve the best health possible for your medical condition.

Our team works aggressively to get you the workers’ comp benefits you deserve for temporary and permanent disabilities. Dependents of a federal employee who loses their life on the job are also eligible to receive survivor’s benefits. Contact our Nashville offices today.

The following are some of the federally administered programs available to government personnel and workers injured on the job.

"When I was a teenager, Dad got hurt. Insurance company wouldn't pay. We lost our house. But, Dad got a lawyer and we got justice. That's the moment I decided to become an attorney. As a lawyer, I have dedicated my life to helping injury victims."

~ Rocky

What is the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP)?

The OWCP administers four major disability compensation programs. These provide medical treatment, wage replacement, vocational rehabilitation, and other benefits to workers injured on the job. The OWCP is managed by the U.S. Department of Labor, involving four different types of workers’ compensation claims. The four divisions are are:

What is the Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA)?

FECA provides workers’ compensation benefits to civilian government employees who are injured while working or develop a medical condition during their job tenure. FECA also pays out benefits to an employee’s survivors should they be killed on the job. As with all workers’ comp benefits, however, they won’t be paid if the employee’s willful misconduct or intoxication led to their injury or death. Our job as your workers’ compensation lawyers is to prove your injuries resulted from an accident and not your own recklessness. I will explain when medical and wage benefits should begin and when and if they should end.

Benefits from FECA include:

  • All necessary medical treatment, including rehabilitation, surgery, and prescriptions
  • Lost wages
    • If you’re unable to work due to your injury or condition, your agency compensates you directly with lost wages for the first 45 days off work
    • If you’re unable to work for more than 45 days, FECA begins paying your lost wages
    • If your workers’ comp claim is from an occupational disease, you may be able to start collecting compensation from FECA after three days

If your work-related injury or illness results in permanent partial disability or permanent total disability, FECA will provide additional benefits to you. The amount of the compensation is based on the severity of your permanent disability and the impact it has on your future earning capacity. And if you have dependents, you will likely receive increased permanent disability compensation to account for your need to provide for those dependents. Injured federal government workers may also be entitled to vocational retraining.

Other government workers who don’t fall under typical workers’ compensation law include railroad workers and maritime workers. Rocky McElhaney Law Firm has a wide range of experience in these types of claims as well. We’re proud to help all government employees with their workers’ compensation needs.

What is the Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA)?

Railroad workers are not covered under state workers’ compensation systems. Instead, they are covered under the Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA).

Railroad workers must file claims through the Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA) in order to recover work injury benefits. Unlike other workers’ compensation laws where there is no need to prove fault, an injured railway worker must prove that the railroad company or an employee caused their injuries. The standard of proof, however, is very small. For most workers, any type of negligence will justify a claim. Contributory negligence might reduce the amount of benefits, but won’t eliminate the claim altogether.

What is the Jones Act?

Injured sailors and seamen can seek recovery for work-related injuries by filing a Jones Act claim (more formally called a Merchant Marine Act of 1920 claim). In general, injured sailors can request that their medical bills be paid and that they be compensated (in whole or in part) for their lost wages – regardless of how the accident that caused the injuries happened. If a shipping company or someone else was negligent, then the sailor can also file a third party pain and suffering claim, even if the case is still filed as a Jones Act case. The Jones Act only applies to sailors and seamen and not to dock workers.

Do you have a workers’ compensation attorney near me?

Rocky McElhaney Law Firm has two offices in Nashville: one at 545 Mainstream Dr. (Suite 105) and one at 615 Main Street, M2. We also have state-of-the-art offices in Hendersonville and Clarksville. If you are too injured to come to us, we will make home and hospital visits, or schedule a phone or video consultation.

Schedule an appointment with our Nashville work injury lawyers today

Rocky McElhaney Law Firm represents state and federal government employees injured throughout Tennessee. Please call our Nashville workers’ compensation lawyers at 615.425.2500 or use our contact form to schedule an appointment in Nashville, Hendersonville, or Clarksville.