Federal employees who suffer with an on-the-job injury which prevents them from working are usually eligible for compensation benefits. The specific types and amounts of compensation depend on the employee's line of work, how the injury occurred and the severity of the work injury. In these situations, gains are available for employees.
In every case, employees who qualify for benefits have to apply to them and prove their eligibility. Mistakes in the often-confusing program procedure can result in a claim being denied, causing you and your family delays and frustration.
Back Injuries and Federal Employees
There's a significant amount of lost productivity at federal offices every year due to back injuries. In reality, the U.S. Department of Labor reports that more than 600,000 employees suffer a back injury each year.
This kind of disability may result from repetitive motions over long intervals or continual strain on muscles and skeletal structure until pain or restriction of motion becomes acute. A disabling back condition may also occur due to a single incident such as trying to lift a product that is too heavy for the spine to carry or lifting an item.
Oftentimes, a back injury may give the kind of a nagging, dull ache. Sitting in a chair day after day may have cumulative impacts on the muscles, tendons and ligaments, weakening them and contributing to constant aggravation.
When you've suffered a back injury that prevents you from doing the duties of your normal occupation assignment, you might suffer from a medical condition that qualifies you for federal employment compensation benefits.
Common Causes for Back Injury
The following examples may enable federal employees, and others, to have a better understanding of how back injuries can occur in work settings. These are causes that are common:
- Lifting or moving a heavy object that can't be carried by the trunk, putting too much pressure at one time around the back muscles and construction.
- Repetitive movements, like standing and bending, for a period of time, which can cause injury when the muscles become overly fatigued.
- Poor posture on a regular basis, resulting in muscle fatigue and trauma.
- Slips or falls, including falls from heights or same-level drops.
- Whole-body vibrations, such as those experienced by automobile drivers and industrial vehicles.
- Degenerative factors due to age, overuse or repetitive motions that wear down the supporting muscles and skeletal structure of the spine.
How Can Back Injuries Prevent Productivity?
If you suffer from a back injury, you should seek proper medical treatment that may include bed rest or putting reasonable limitations on your action. However, this doesn't apply to serious injuries which can be accompanied by loss of bowel or bladder control, general fatigue, fever or weight loss. Till you are in a position to do more you might be able to slowly increase activity and even take part in moderate exercise.
More severe back injuries may require surgical interventions. Your recovery could take weeks or even months. Some injuries will prevent a return to finish normalcy on the job. For instance, a back injury may keep you from bending, lifting, doing some of your job or your job responsibilities if it demands constant sitting or standing. Although back injuries are often the most common types of injuries in the work setting, other injuries can affect job productivity.
The following are examples of other types of federal employee injuries or disorders:
- Neck Injuries: Neck injuries such as a cervical herniated disc can lead to lingering pain and disability that may require expensive surgery.
- Back Injuries: An injury to the spine, vertebrae, disks, or spine muscles often leaves a employee unable to perform even the simplest of physical activities.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) and Epicondylitis: These repetitive use injuries make dexterity tasks painful and seriously limit productivity.
- Shoulder Injuries: The shoulder is a complex joint susceptible to multiple accidents, any of which can set a worker from commission for considerable time.
- Brain and Head Injuries: While brain and head injuries are difficult to diagnose and can be dismissed as fraud, they frequently cause long-term physical and mental disabilities.
- Lower Extremity Injuries: Knee, ankle, foot, and leg injuries can make it hard to get about, while the loss of a limb is a serious and permanent disability.
- Repetitive Motion Injuries: Repeating the same moves for days, months, and years on end can lead to injuries such as tendonitis, carpal tunnel, chronic back pain, and herniated discs.
- Preexisting Injuries: Your harm need not be a new one so as to qualify for federal benefits. You might qualify if job duties aggravate an old injury.
- Nerve Injuries: Job duties may result in nervous order conditions like myelopathy and neuropathy. Nerve injuries are tough to diagnose.
- Psychological Injuries: Injuries to the brain--such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)--are every bit as debilitating as injuries to your system.
Understanding the national employee benefits you're entitled to receive after suffering an injury or aggravated condition could be tricky, especially when multiple benefit types are available and they offset each other. Properly documenting your claim and submitting it on time as well as seeking the proper guidance can help federal employees find the relief and compensation they deserve for their work-related injuries and possible lost wages.
The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic and spinal injuries and conditions. To discuss options on the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .
By Dr. Alex Jimenez
Additional Topics: Back Pain
Back pain is one of the most common symptoms reported among the general population. While back pain can occur due to a variety of injuries and/or underlying conditions, a work accident has often been associated as a frequent origin of back pain issues. Back pain can affect an individual at least once throughout their lifetime. Fortunately, federal employees who experience back pain, such as symptoms of sciatica, can benefit from programs like FECA.