Nearly 14,000 workers’ compensation claims, including 228 death claims, were filed during the first 14 months of the pandemic claiming COVID-19 infections contracted in federal workplaces, according to an inspector general report.
The IG at the Labor Department, which oversees the Federal Employees Compensation Act program, said that FECA claims made up 13 percent of all federal workplace injury and illness compensation claims over February 2020-March 2021. It added that through March, 46 percent of those claims were still unadjudicated, compared with just 21 percent of other types of claims.
Compared with other FECA claims, which take an average of nine days to adjudicate, COVID-related claims on average require 48 days due to their more complex nature, said the report, which added that “any delay could potentially cause hardship for claimants.”
The report noted that since the data go only through March, they do not reflect the surge in infections that began in mid-summer.