Workers' Compensation:

Selected Comparisons of Federal and State Laws

GGD-96-76: Published: Apr 3, 1996. Publicly Released: Apr 3, 1996.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on workers' compensation benefits, focusing on: (1) those benefits authorized by the Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA); and (2) other workers' compensation provisions for federal and state workers.

GAO found that: (1) FECA provides the same types of benefits to injured federal workers as those provided by states, the Longshore and Harbor Worker's Compensation Act (LHWCA), and the District of Columbia workers compensation laws; (2) the principal workers' compensation benefits paid to claimants under all of these laws are compensation and medical benefits; (3) less than 1 percent of FECA long-term beneficiaries receive compensation based on the authorized maximum benefit amount; (4) whereas FECA provides claimants with dependents additional benefits, other worker compensation plans do not; (5) an increase in benefits for dependents is provided when the claimant exceeds the authorized maximum benefit level; (6) FECA provides federal workers suffering from traumatic injuries with immediate salary continuation benefits for 45 days before a 3-day waiting period begins; and (7) under LHWCA and other state laws, injured workers must be out of work for 3 to 7 days before they can receive wage-loss benefits, and if they are ineligible for those benefits, their employers may offer them salary continuation or paid sick leave.

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