Home Coronavirus Report: 2,866 COVID claims, 48 deaths among federal workers
Report: 2,866 COVID claims, 48 deaths among federal workers

Report: 2,866 COVID claims, 48 deaths among federal workers

0

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly 3,000 federal workers have filed compensation claims for having contracted COVID-19 on the job, a number that is expected to double by early next month, according to a Department of Labor review.

Get started on your Homeland Security degree at American Military University.

Through mid-June, families of 48 federal workers had filed death claims with the Division of Federal Employees’ Compensation.

The report only reflects the number of federal workers or their families who filed claims by June 16 — not the number who actually have contracted the coronavirus or died from it. Reports from individual agencies indicate the number of infections and deaths is much higher.

But the report from the department’s inspector general is one of the first centralized assessments of the way the virus is affecting the federal workforce, many of whom have continued to work on site through the pandemic.

The inspector general found that the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs was “experiencing or expecting delays and resource management issues as a result of increasing claims or social distancing mandates brought on by the pandemic.”

The inspector general’s audit found that as of June 16, the Division of Federal Employees’ Compensation had received 2,866 COVID-19 claims, including 48 death claims, and paid out approximately $30,000 in medical benefits and compensation. It estimates that those totals will reach 6,000 claims by early August.

Individual agency reports from the three largest federal agencies — Defense, Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security — show the extent of infections and death among workers.

As of July 27, the Defense Department reported 5,373 virus cases among civilian employees, with 33 deaths. Veterans Affairs reports that 41 employees have died. Customs and Border Protection and the Transportation Security Administration, two of the largest sub-agencies under the Department of Homeland Security umbrella, report a combined 2,905 infection cases among employees, with 14 deaths.

The government has designated occupations such as law enforcement, first responders, and front-line medical and public health personnel as inherently high-risk. Employees in those fields only have to report an infection in order to claim compensation. Federal employees in other fields are being asked to prove that they were infected in the course of their duties.

Joe Mansour, a workers compensation specialist with the American Federation of Government Employees, said the compensation process for infected workers has been erratic, with confusing instructions and mixed messages. Mansour says he has fielded complaints from employees in positions considered high-risk, who are still being asked to provide detailed doctor’s explanations despite the promise of an expedited process.

“It hasn’t been terrible, but it hasn’t been as easy as they claim,” he said. “The VA has been really terrible, but the TSA and the Bureau of Prisons have improved tremendously.”

 

This article was written by ASHRAF KHALIL from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Comments

comments

Online Degrees & Certificates In Cybersecurity

American Military University's online cybersecurity programs integrate multiple disciplines to ensure you gain the critical skills and management practices needed to effectively lead cybersecurity missions – from government or private industry. Learn from the leader. American Military University is part of American Public University System, which has been designated by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education.

Request Information

Please complete this form and we’ll contact you with more information about AMU. All fields except phone are required.

Validation message here
Validation message here
Validation message here
Validation message here
Validation message here
Validation message here
Validation message here
Validation message here
Validation message here
Ready to apply? Start your application today.

We value your privacy.

By submitting this form, you agree to receive emails, texts, and phone calls and messages from American Public University System, Inc. which includes American Military University (AMU) and American Public University (APU), its affiliates, and representatives. I understand that this consent is not a condition of enrollment or purchase.

You may withdraw your consent at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy, terms, or contact us for more details.