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Are Federal Employees Eligible for Workers' Compensation?


Before workers’ compensation laws were enacted in South Carolina, the employer was responsible for employee injuries or fatalities caused by the employer’s negligence. This meant that injured or disabled workers would have to take their employers to court and prove that their injuries were the direct result of their employers’ wrongful acts or negligence.

For the employee, this was not an easy feat. For most workers, this was a long, costly, unpredictable legal process that didn’t always work out in the end. Fortunately, workers’ compensation laws were later enacted in South Carolina and throughout the nation, which protect injured and sickened workers regardless of fault or their own carelessness or negligence.

Who is Covered by Workers’ Compensation?

In South Carolina, the vast majority of employees are covered by the Workers’ Compensation Act, but there are some notable exceptions, including:

  • Certain casual employees,
  • Railroad workers,
  • Businesses that have less than four employees,
  • Agricultural workers,
  • South Carolina real estate agents, and
  • Federal employees who work in South Carolina.

For the purpose of this post, we’re going to address workers’ compensation for federal workers in South Carolina. “Are federal workers covered by workers’ compensation?” As mentioned above, federal workers are NOT covered by traditional workers’ compensation insurance, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t covered.

Federal workers are covered under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act. Under Section 8102(a) of the Act it reads, “The United States shall pay compensation as specified by this subchapter for the disability or death of an employee resulting from personal injury sustained while in the performance of his duty, unless the injury or death is” caused by:

  • The intentional misconduct of the federal employee,
  • The employee’s intention to injure himself or someone else,
  • The employee’s intention to commit suicide or kill someone else, or
  • An employee who was intoxicated and the intoxication directly caused the injury or death.

To learn more about the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act, click here to visit the United States Department of Labor’s website. To learn more about which state or federal workers’ compensation laws apply to you, contact our Columbia workers’ compensation firm today.

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