Is workers’ compensation paid under state or federal law?

In Rhode Island, any worker employed by a private employer, state agency, or local government is owed benefits under the state workers' compensation board. However, there are some Rhode Island residents—such as federal workers or maritime employees—who may qualify for workers' compensation under a federal law. Federal and state law workers' comp

Qualifying for Federal Workers’ Comp Benefits

While the majority of workers’ compensation programs are administered under state law, some workers are exempt from state workers’ compensation due to the location, risks, or injuries associated with their work. In these cases, injured workers can collect wage replacement benefits, medical treatment, vocational rehabilitation, and disability payments through the U.S. government.

Federal laws make compensation for a work-related injury or an occupational disease payable to:

  • Federal and postal employees. The Federal Employees' Compensation Act grants workers' compensation benefits to millions of federal employees, including postal workers. Injured federal employees can make a claim for benefits through the nearest district office of the Division of Federal Employees' Compensation (DFEC).
  • Maritime employees. Employees who work on open water, oil rigs, or offshore platforms can collect injury benefits under federal maritime laws, including the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA), Defense Base Act (DBA), and Jones Act.
  • Energy employees. The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA) provides compensation to current or former employees of the Department of Energy (DOE) who have been diagnosed with a radiogenic form of cancer after exposure to radiation, beryllium, or silica during their term of employment. The EEOICPA also provides survivors’ benefits to families of employees who have died as a result of work-related radiogenic cancers.

If you are seeking compensation after an injury at work, our attorneys can examine your situation and help determine how much you’re owed for lost wages, medical bills, and other accident costs. Simply fill out our easy online contact form, or call Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum to set up a consultation with our work injury attorneys.