The quick spread of the disease known as COVID-19 has affected businesses all over the country. Employers struggle to protect the health of the employees who remain, as well as how they can assist those who’ve contracted the virus due to work-related exposure and how they could return to work.
You or a loved one may be worried about the cost of the medical bills and medical treatment. Does workers’ compensation law grant you work comp benefits if you’ve contracted COVID on the job? We’ll tackle this in the article below.
An Overview of Workers’ Compensation
Often shortened to “workers’ comp,” it is a government-mandated benefit system that gives monetary benefits to employees who lost wages or incurred medical expenses and other expenses due to work-related illnesses and accidents. Workers’ compensation laws also cover death benefits for the families of the deceased employee.
According to the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), an illness or injury is work-related if an event or exposure in the work environment caused or contributed to it. Typically, your workers’ comp lawyer has to prove that the employer is liable for the workplace injury and thus, their client is entitled to monetary benefits.
For more compensation information, contact a workers’ compensation lawyer.
Workers’ Compensation for Occupational Diseases
An occupational disease is one contracted due to exposure to risk factors while working. If you get one, you’re entitled to workers’ compensation insurance benefits. First, you must prove that:
- The disease manifested itself
- The employee was disabled from working and has lost time in employment due to the disease
- The employee has reasonable grounds to suspect that it’s related to their occupation
To win your workers’ comp claim, a professional must make a medical examination to formally diagnose you with the disease. Besides, you or your legal representation must show that you were disabled and thus, are experiencing pain and suffering from the disease. You must also show that you contracted the disease due to conditions from your employment, not just from being in the general public.
Workers’ Comp for COVID-19
As with any other occupational illness claim, merely having COVID-19 does not entitle a worker to compensation. You need a physician to diagnose you with COVID-19 and some form of proof that your exposure to the virus was due to employment-related circumstances. Workers’ compensation lawyers know what exactly a claimant needs to help with their case to prove their entitlement for compensation.
A problem that workers’ comp claimants may face is that this is a pandemic. There is a significant risk of contracting the virus just from being with the general public. The average employee will likely face a denial of their workers’ compensation claims.
It differs with each workers’ comp case. A skilled workers’ comp attorney can give you legal counsel on whether your claim can get you medical benefits from workers’ comp law.
The outlook of a compensation claim is much better for those considered as frontline workers. Healthcare professionals, first responders, and some travel industry professionals are at greater risk of contracting the disease and have a better chance of getting their workers’ comp benefits.
Hire a Lawyer to Help
In normal times, workers’ compensation is a complex area of the law; COVID-19 only adds to the complexity of the legal issue and you need an attorney to help.
To summarize the article, a frontline worker’s compensation claim has a higher chance of being approved. For those whose jobs don’t involve high-risk exposure, it may be quite difficult, but not impossible, to get benefits from the claims.
The bottom line is that if you’re a healthcare worker, first responder, or otherwise your occupation places you on the front lines of facing the coronavirus outbreak, your workers’ comp claim could very well be approved. It’s much more difficult, but perhaps not impossible, for those whose jobs don’t involve an especially high risk of exposure.
This situation is constantly evolving. Contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney for up-to-date information and help get compensated with your case.
The personal injury lawyers from the Law Offices of Marc Grossman are there for your workplace injuries and getting your workers’ compensation benefits. If you’ve been injured at work, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our personal injury attorneys are ready to fight for you. Call 855-5664-911 or complete our contact form for a free consultation.