Federal Workers Comp Blog

Postal Worker Union Negotiates New Health Benefits for PSEs

Postal Worker Union President Mark Dimondstein recently announced a new plan that will allow Postal Support Employees (PSEs) to apply for health insurance during their first year of employment. Previously, PSEs had to wait until after their first year to sign up for health insurance.

The change came as a result of negotiations between union heads and the USPS and will go into effect on May 16, 2016. There will be a special enrollment window that will be open from May 16 to June 30 of this year. Coverage under the new plan will be effective as of July 9, 2016.

“This benefit is a step forward, especially for those who need self-only coverage... This stop-gap measure will improve conditions for PSEs who need insurance for their first year... This benefit applies to all PSEs, regardless of the number of hours they work,” - President Mark Dimondstein

Read more at http://www.apwu.org/news/web-news-article/union-negotiates-new-health-benefit-pses

US Department of Labor (DOL) Approves Petition by Laid-Off Naranda Workers

MISSOURI - Many of the employees that formerly worked for Naranda may now be eligible for compensation benefits because of a new decision made by the United States Department of Labor, or DOL. The new decision made by the US-DOL gives approval for a Trade Adjustment Assistance petition to provide benefits to more than 800 workers that were impacted by the closure of the Noranda Aluminum facility.

The recent approval by the US-DOL means that the recently unemployed workers can receive benefits such as training, tax credits, financial benefits, job search assistance, and relocation help.

"In addition to the TAA Program, DED, along with partnering agencies, is deploying a number of crucial resources including funds to offset utilities, housing, job placement and training and tuition for workers, as well as incentivizing other area businesses to hire affected workers by offsetting the cost to onboard and train new employees through On-the-Job Training."

Read more about this developing story at this article's source: http://www.kfvs12.com/story/31614201/department-of-labor-approves-petition-providing-benefits-for-laid-off-noranda-workers

Federal Workers Compensation Benefits Budget Proposal

President Obama recently released his proposed federal budget for the 2017 Fiscal Year. The newly proposed budget suggests an increase in federal employees compensation by 1.6%. It also includes, among other items, a substantial amount of monies dedicated to cybersecurity measures and a $10 a barrel tax on crude oil.

Equally deserving of attention is the the part of the budget that affects federal workers. It is worth noting that every proposed budget during Obama's presidency has had a motion by the United States Department of Labor (DOL) to drastically reduce federal workers' compensation benefits. These federal workers' compensation benefits that are seemingly under attack are the same federal workers compensation benefits afforded to government employees by the Federal Employee Compensation Act (FECA)

"Though I understand the goal of reducing expenses, injured federal workers should not be the ones to bear the brunt of such legislation. Remember, these individuals are our postal workers, firefighters, federal law enforcement officials and others who have suffered from debilitating injuries and illnesses while working in public service." - FedSmith

Read more about the proposed budget cuts for DOL and federal workers compensation at this article's source: http://www.fedsmith.com/2016/03/10/recent-budget-proposal-omitted-cut-to-federal-workers-compensation-benefits/

Continuation of Pay (COP) for Injured Federal Workers

The year 1974 saw two major amendments to the Federal Employee Compensation Act. The first major change, as previously discussed, was the right for all injured federal employees to choose their own doctor. The second amendment, which we will briefly discuss below, was the right for injured federal employees to receive continuation of pay. Prior to 1974, injured federal workers had to endure long delays in paperwork before receiving their back pay. Many of the injured federal workers would succumb to financial hardships during these delays. Some would end up losing their homes and going completely bankrupt. Many suspected that the long delays in paperwork were intentional and were used as a way to force the injured worker back to work before his or her injury was properly cared for. Now injured federal employees are able to to receive continuation of pay the first 45 calendar days following their work injury.

Read more about Continuation of Pay (COP) for injured federal workers at http://www.fedsmith.com/2012/01/25/days-free-leave-cop-continuation-pay/.

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