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Trump Administration May Prompt Surge in Occupational Disease Claims

Written by Ankin Law Office

One of President Trump’s first executive actions in 2017 was to impose a federal hiring freeze on civilian employees. This freeze is expected to prompt a surge in occupational disease claims and other types of workers compensation claims filed by a workers comp attorney.

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Trump administration infographic

Impact of the Federal Hiring Freeze

President Trump’s federal hiring freeze will have an impact on workers compensation claims, as well as Social Security disability claims filed by U.S. citizens and veterans. The freeze will stop hiring for all vacant federal government positions, except positions for the military, public safety and public health. The executive order requires the Office of Management and Budget to develop a plan within 90 days that will shrink the federal workforce. According to White House officials, the freeze will expire once a plan is implemented. The federal hiring freeze will also stop the Department of Veterans Affairs from hiring new employees, and it’s not certain how long that freeze will last. Overall, the President’s hiring freeze will impact 19 different federal agencies.

According to government officials, President Trump’s hiring freeze on federal positions will have a big impact on all types of federal claims by backlogging an already overloaded system. Currently, many claims take up to 90 days for initial processing. If claims are denied, and appeals are filed, it can take as long as 526 days for an appeal to be heard.

Workers’ Compensation Claims

The Department of Labor and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) oversee workplace safety regulations to ensure that working Americans are safe on the job. According to OSHA data, approximately 2.9 million American workers were injured in the workplace in 2015, and another 145,000 workers were affected by a work-related illness. In 2016, data shows that over 4,800 workers died from work-related injuries.

OSHA employees regulate workplace safety by conducting studies on illness and injury patterns, implementing safety rules and practices, and inspecting workplaces to ensure that safety regulations are followed. According to OSHA officials, the federal hiring freeze will result in fewer illness and injury studies, as well as slower workplace inspections to oversee safety regulations. OSHA fears that the federal hiring freeze will put more Americans at risk for workplace illness, injuries and fatalities. They expect to see a surge in occupational disease claims, as well as workplace injury claims filed with a workers comp attorney in 2017.