Everywhere you look, people are scrambling to come to grips with the way that COVID-19 has changed workplaces around the country. Tens of thousands of individuals have already been infected by the virus, and it’s possible that you or a loved one may have contracted COVID-19 at work.
Receiving workers’ compensation could make a bad situation a lot better for you and your family, so familiarize yourself with the details of how the COVID-19 pandemic may have affected your workers’ compensation rights.
Did you contract COVID-19 at work?
In many states, non-essential workers have been sent home by executive order. Therefore, most workers are now no longer at risk of contracting COVID-19 in the workplace.
The same can’t be said, however, for professionals in the grocery, pharmacy, and medical care industries. These individuals continue to work at the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, and workers in these industries are the most likely to be exposed to COVID-19.
You don’t have to work in a sensitive industry to be exposed to COVID-19 on the job. It’s still possible, however unlikely, to contract COVID-19 during work-related activities from home, though insurance companies will naturally be less likely to fulfill workers’ compensation claims the farther away from the front lines your job takes you.
It’s entirely possible that you contracted COVID-19 at work before any lockdown measures were in place. If you can demonstrate that this exposure occurred due to your employer’s negligence and that contracting the novel coronavirus has significantly impacted your ability to work, you might be eligible for workers’ compensation.
Can you receive workers’ compensation benefits for COVID-19?
If you’re still working despite the lockdown currently in place and your normal job duties exposed you to COVID-19, you’re in the group that’s most likely to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Regardless of your current employment circumstances, however, you still may be eligible for benefits if COVID-19 has negatively impacted your ability to work.
In the vast majority of cases, COVID-19 resolves itself without any medical treatment being required. If you contract the novel coronavirus but recover as expected, you’ll only receive limited workers’ compensation benefits for the time you spent unable to work.
Rarely, COVID-19 can cause serious medical issues that take months or even years to resolve. If this is the situation in your case, you may be eligible for full workers’ compensation benefits. Just as a refresher, here’s what long-term workers’ compensation usually covers:
- Compensation for time spent unable to work
- Medical bills related to the condition that kept you from working
- Disability payments
- Rehabilitation costs
- If necessary, the cost to switch to a different profession
How to file a COVID-19 death claim
Thankfully, COVID-19 has claimed far fewer lives than the experts expected. The number of lives that the novel coronavirus has taken, however, doesn’t seem so trivial to individuals who have lost loved ones due to this infectious illness.
If you feel that workplace exposure to COVID-19 led to the death of a loved one, you may be eligible for death benefits. In most cases, a death benefit consists of a single lump sum, but the details of these workers’ compensation agreements vary from case to case.
For those who have lost loved ones who worked heroically on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, it may come as a relief that proving COVID-19 as the cause of death usually isn’t necessary. To receive coronavirus-related death benefits, you need only show that contracting COVID-19 contributed to the death of your loved one.
Know your rights in the face of this pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the world to a seeming standstill, but the rule of law still reigns supreme. You have rights if you or a loved one were hurt by contracting COVID-19 on the job, and standing up for yourself is the first step. Receive the help you need dealing with the aftermath of this pandemic by contacting Dordulian Law Group today.