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3,600 feds awarded COVID-19 disability or death benefits

Federal employees and their families, numbering in the thousands, have been harmed or killed by COVID-19 proven or presumed to be contracted on the job—and a significant number are now receiving compensation.

That news comes to us according to an exclusive news story in the Washington Post. The news organization has been compiling statistics on this crucial issue—finding injury benefits claims for at least 3,500 feds have been approved. Death benefits, determined as resulting from work-related COVID-19, have been approved for at least 14 fed families. The story also lists the number of of infections and deaths for several departments and agencies, as reported so to date. 

An additional approximately 2,600 COVD injury claims and 68 death benefits claims remain pending, the news piece said.

The claims detailed in the story are those filed under the terms of the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act. Most feds were switched to telework from the early days of the pandemic. But hundreds of thousands of healthcare and other frontline job workers have continued to work at their usual workplaces, often under extremely dangerous circumstances. Union and lawmaker advocates of federal employees have complained throughout the past nine months that many agencies have done far too little to protect employees from the often-deadly virus. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has infected more than 12,000,000 and killed more than 250,000 persons in the United States, as of mid-November, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University. The eventual cost to the U.S. economy and society, in dollar terms, from death and disability is massive—estimated to be in the neighborhood of $16 trillion or four times the cost of the Great Recession a decade ago, according to Harvard researchers.

Additional information on difficulties, including job losses and disruption as well as mandatory telework, caused to the American workforce as a whole can be found on these pages of the Bureau of Labor Statistics website.

Reader comments

Sun, Dec 6, 2020

Fact: Many Agencies are not releasing information critical for employee safety during Covid. Fact: F&1 NYO Office Management does not provide Managers the ability to provide their employees locations on where positive Covid cases have been identified and cleaned. Fact: F&1 NYO managers have failed to offer Telework to employees who waiting for Covid test results. Fact: NY F&1 IT employees were denied cash awards because they were teleworking during Covid

Mon, Nov 30, 2020

We have had several people die from the flu contracted at the job site throughout the years. Should they get compensation retroactively also? What about dying from heart attacks and such?

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