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How long do federal workers' compensation benefits take?

Some federal workers put themselves in harm's way on a daily basis. These workers risk their own personal safety in order to get their jobs done. Even for those in relatively safe jobs, workplace accidents occur that can result in serious injuries. Like workers in the private sector, workplace accidents can result in lost wages, time away from the job, medical expenses and other costs.

Workers in this situation are not responsible for these expenses on their own. Instead, workers' compensation is often available for government workers following an on-the-job injury or accident. Workers' compensation can be used to cover people's bills as they recover from the injury. These could include their everyday living expenses and medical costs.

Because of the importance of workers' compensation to injured workers, many may wonder exactly how long it takes to get these federal benefits. According to the United States Department of Labor, the Division of Federal Employees' Compensation is responsible for benefit claims for federal workers. The DFEC says that it works to adjudicate these claims as quickly as possible.

However, the exact length of time depends on the severity of the injury in each case. If the issues involve complex occupational illness, the DFEC can take up to 10 months to make a decision about whether a person is entitled to compensation. Most occupational illnesses, however, are decided within six months. For simple illnesses, a decision could be issued in as quickly as 90 days. Traumatic injuries are adjudicated within 45 days. Medical bills, according to the DFEC, are paid within 28 days of receipt. And once a case is accepted, compensation is issued within 14 days.

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