National Workers’ Comp Reform Could Mean Benefit Changes For the Injured
eWorkers’ compensation is meant to ensure that a pool of resources is readily available to those injured on the job. But, providing for injured workers in not an inexpensive endeavor, and in these tight fiscal times, trimming the fat off the workers’ comp system is an appealing goal for lawmakers.
One bill in particular is advancing in the U.S. Senate that could heavily impact benefits for some injured workers. While union officials, employee organizations and Chicago workers compensation lawyers are vehemently speaking out against legislation that could slash benefits, the future for injured workers remains uncertain.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits Could Be Drastically Lowered
The Federal Employees’ Compensation Act, or FECA, is a law that provides workers’ compensation benefits to federal employees injured in the performance of their duties. A bill advancing through the Senate would mean lower payments to FECA beneficiaries.
Currently under FECA, injured workers with no dependents who are eligible to retire receive two-thirds of what their salary was at the time of the injury. The new bill would lower their compensation to 50 percent.
In addition, under the new bill, those with dependents would have their benefits lowered during their working years, from three-quarters of their pre-injury salary to two-thirds. Hitting retirement age would mean another drop in benefits.
It is not all bad news for injured workers covered by FECA, however: a proposal has been approved by the U.S. House of Representatives that would provide additional compensation (up to $50,000) for workers who suffer facial disfigurement. This legislation would also increase funeral expense benefits to as much as $6,000.
Legal Help for Injured Illinois Workers
Whatever the outcome of pending legislation, if you have been hurt on the job, it is important to take measures to ensure you receive the fullest amount of benefits you are entitled to. Contact an experienced workplace injury lawyer today for help with your workers’ comp claim.