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What’s the difference between state and federal workers’ comp?

On Behalf of | Jan 19, 2021 | Workers' Compensation |

Federal workers’ compensation is for federal government employees, and state workers’ compensation is for other employees. State workers’ compensation may have different rules than federal workers’ comp, so you should consult with a local lawyer to understand your rights. Kansas has 10 administrative judges who conduct hearings for workers’ compensation if you can’t come to an agreement with your employer. After your preliminary hearing, you can expect a preliminary decision within five days.

Kansas only offers state workers’ comp for government employees

State government employees can receive Kansas workers’ compensation. Those who aren’t government employees must ask their employers for their workers’ comp insurance company information to receive benefits. A workers’ comp lawyer could help you with either process to ensure you receive fair benefits.

Important information about federal workers’ compensation

When you initially file for federal workers’ compensation, you can choose your physician. After benefits have begun, you need the OWCP (Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs) to approve a change in health care providers. State government employees can sue the state government for work-related injuries, but federal workers who have a public employer can’t sue the federal government for a work-related injury not even if it was intentional. They can — in some cases — sue the responsible third party, though.

Applying for workers’ comp and suing for negligence or intentional injury are not the same thing. You can do both as long as you’re not suing the federal government since it is immune to lawsuits.

Returning to work

If you return to work, federal law protects your right to return as if you hadn’t taken time off to recover. Workers’ comp law states that your employer must cover your medical expenses, hospitalization costs and surgery costs that result from the injury or illness.

Workers’ compensation laws are complex, which is why you should consult with a lawyer. There are some differences between state and federal workers’ comp, and state workers’ comp will vary from state to state.