The Division of Federal Employees’ Compensation is an agency of the U.S. Department of Labor that oversees workers’ compensation claims for federal workers under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA). Federal workers can file for workers’ compensation benefits for all injuries and illnesses that occur “in the course of employment” and “arise out of employment.” This can include injuries and illnesses related to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
According to the Department of Labor website, the “key evidence” to file a 9/11 FECA claim includes:
- Exposure — You will need to provide evidence of the duration and length of your occupational exposure. This may include information such as a description of job duties, which federal agency you worked for, and the location of the work. The Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs will assist you by asking your employing agency to provide information about occupational exposure including relevant agency records.
- Medical — You will need to provide medical evidence establishing that the specific medical condition or disability claimed is aggravated, accelerated, precipitated, or directly caused by your 9/11 work-related activities. Establishing such a relationship requires a qualified physician’s opinion, based on a reasonable degree of medical certainty, that the diagnosed condition is causally related to your employment conditions. This opinion must be based on a complete factual and medical background.
For example, the Jacob K. Javits Federal Building is located at 26 Federal Plaza, on Foley Square, less than a mile from Ground Zero. It lies in the midst of the contamination zone. If you were employed there any time from 9/11 through May 30, 2002, and you developed a 9/11-related health condition, you may be eligible for medical treatment and disability benefits under FECA.
You could also be eligible for:
- Free medical screening and treatment through the World Trade Center Health Program
- Monetary compensation from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund
As attorneys who have been fighting for 9/11 compensation since the beginning, Barasch & McGarry urges all persons who lived or work within the contamination zone to register with the WTC Health Program and to pursue all avenues of compensation open to you. Federal employees should not hesitate to file a claim for their 9/11-related illness.
Unfortunately, so much time has passed that federal workers who are just now becoming sick may not associate their illness with 9/11. This is a shame, because they might not otherwise be able to show their illness is work-related for the purposes of workers’ comp. And, they definitely would not seek VCF compensation. This is why education efforts are so important and why we, as attorneys for 9/11 victims, are constantly trying to raise awareness of available benefits.
If you are having trouble accessing the post-9/11 benefits you deserve, schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable attorney at our firm. Please call Barasch & McGarry at [ln::phone] or contact us online.