How Will the Government Shutdown Affect My Workers Compensation Case?


If you were injured at work and are receiving workers compensation benefits for your work-related injury or illness, you have most likely heard about a partial government shutdown that began on Saturday, Dec. 22, 2018. After all, there isn’t much you can do at home while recovering from a work-related injury or illness other than watch Fox News or CNN all day long to know what’s happening in the country amid the shutdown.

But those talking heads from TV are not going to tell you how the government shutdown can affect your workers compensation case. Our Los Angeles workers compensation lawyer from Law Offices of Kropach & Kropach, on the other hand, will.

Will the government shutdown impact your workers comp case?

So how will the partial government shutdown, which could last well into 2019, impact your workers comp case and workplace safety? Unless your workers compensation case or claim is handled at the federal level, you will not notice much of an impact.

If you filed your workers comp claim in Los Angeles, Encino, or elsewhere in California as a state-level claim, the government shutdown should not bother you much. However, if your workers comp case is handled at the federal level, expect delays and slowdowns, warn our workplace injury lawyers in Los Angeles.

What to expect if you have an open or pending workers comp claim

Although the Department of Labor, which provides workers comp and disability benefits to a federal worker who has sustained a work-related injury or illness, received sufficient funding from Congress earlier this year, it might still be affected by the partial government shutdown.

Our workers compensation attorney Los Angeles warns that if you have a pending or open workers comp case or claim during the government shutdown, these are the potential consequences you might expect:

  • If the Department of Labor furloughs its staff, it will place its nonessential employees on temporary leave, which means there will be no claims managers, customer service staff, and others during the shutdown;
  • Workers comp-related claims processes requiring human intervention would be delayed or even suspended until the shutdown ends (this includes approval, denial, or closure of workers comp claims, initiation of payment of medical expenses and other payments, etc.);
  • Automated workers comp-related claims processes, on the other hand, will most likely not be affected;
  • An increased risk of underpayments and overpayments in workers comp cases that are handled without human intervention (especially when the amount to be paid differs from the previous or subsequent payment);
  • Slowdowns or delays in handling disputes, questions, orders and customer service;
  • Suspension of specialty trade inspections; and
  • Safety consultation services to help you file a workers comp claim may be unavailable.

While federal employees from the Department of Labor may not be available to help you with your workers comp claim, our workers compensation defense attorney in Los Angeles is always available to answer your questions and help you out.

How the government shutdown could make your workplace unsafe

What many people in the U.S. do not realize is that the partial government shutdown can make workplaces unsafe for employees. There might be delays in safety inspections of workplaces, which are normally conducted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which is part of the Department of Labor.

During the government shutdown, the Department of Labor may choose to suspend all inspections of workplaces except those that involve fatalities or immediate hazards. Let our Los Angeles workers compensation lawyer from Law Offices of Kropach & Kropach help you with your case. Call our offices at 818-609-7005 today.

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