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Workers Compensation Insurance 101

Federal Workers Compensation Laws

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On the federal level, there are four major disability compensation programs for federal employees or their dependents who are injured at work or acquire a work related disease. The laws are administered by The Department of Labor's Office of Workers' Compensation Programs.To learn about the laws, click here offsite link.

The following are similar federal laws for workers who work in a significant aspect of interstate commerce such as seamen, people who work with atomic energy, and coal miners:

The Federal Employment Compensation Act offsite link

Provides workers compensation for non-military, federal employees. Many of its provisions are typical of most worker compensation laws. Awards are limited to "disability or death" sustained while in the performance of the employee's duties but not caused willfully by the employee or by intoxication. The act covers medical expenses due to the disability and may require the employee to undergo job retraining. A disabled employee receives two thirds of his or her normal monthly salary during the disability and may receive more for permanent physical injuries, or if he or she has dependents. The act provides compensation for survivors of employees who are killed. The act is administered by the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs offsite link (

To learn more, see: offsite link

The Federal Employment Liability Act offsite link (FELA)

Provides that railroads engaged in interstate commerce are liable for injuries to their employees if they have been negligent.

To learn more, see: offsite link

The Merchant Marine Marine Act (also known as The Jones Act)

Provides seamen with the same protection from employer negligence as FELA provides railroad workers.

To learn more, see: offsite link

The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act offsite link (LHWCA)

Provides workers' compensation to specified employees of private maritime employers. The Office of Workers' Compensation Programs administers the act.

To learn more, see: offsite link

The Black Lung Benefits Act offsite link

Provides compensation for miners suffering from "black lung" (pneumoconiosis offsite link) The Act requires liable mine operators to pay disability payments and establishes a fund administered by the Secretary of Labor providing disability payments to miners where the mine operator is unknown or unable to pay. The Office of Workers' Compensation Programs regulates the administration of the act.

To learn more, see: offsite link

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