The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone in some tragic way. It has been especially difficult for essential employees who have been on the front lines facing the coronavirus head-on. If you believe you have a reason to file a coronavirus workers’ compensation claim, there are a few things you need to know.
How can I file for a COVID-19 claim?
Once you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and you know you were exposed at your workplace, you will need to file a workers' compensation claim. In most cases, this would be filed just like any other workers' comp claim. Your doctor can also file your claim for you. If you are a provider, claims can be made online or by phone.
When will a claim likely be denied?
If a claim is considered to be incidental or common to every employee in the office or work area, the claim will most likely be denied. This includes cases of employees who work in close proximity to one another who pass the virus from person to person.
Is COVID-19 compensable under state workers' compensation acts?
In some cases, yes. The key is understanding what is considered a common and ordinary illness. Individuals in certain professions, like nursing and paramedics, incur a higher risk of exposure, but coronavirus may be deemed as “part of their job.” Each case will have to be considered on its own merit.
Will claims related to COVID-19 be excluded from experience rating?
Because coronavirus is not considered to be “common,” its effect on the experience rating of a provider is relatively unknown. Proposals have been made to prevent the high number of claims due to coronavirus from being used in the calculations to determine experience ratings.
If I am quarantined due to COVID-19, can I receive workers' compensation wage replacement benefits?
If you don't have access to paid sick leave or the benefits of FMLA, you may be eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim if you are placed in quarantine by your employer or if you have been exposed to the virus at your workplace.
If I contract COVID-19, is it a compensable workers' compensation claim?
In order to file a workers' compensation claim for contracting COVID-19 in the workplace, you have to prove you were initially exposed to the virus while on the job. If that can be proven, you may be eligible for compensation.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus and the initial exposure was workplace-related, the attorneys at Gaylord & Nantais can provide you with helpful advice on filing a coronavirus workers’ compensation claim. They have the answers you need and will work diligently to get you the compensation you deserve.
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