With the world grappling under the pressure of the coronavirus outbreak, individuals everywhere are in a state of perplexity regarding the actions they should take.
While a majority of the businesses have implemented remote work and ‘work-from-home’, a large number of industries have to continue with their functions. These industries could refer to the medical field, extraction or mining industry, agriculture and plenty more.
In fact, these make up the larger proportion of the workforce in general. As such, workers employed in these industries remain at the risk of being exposed to, or being infected with COVID-19 or coronavirus.
Coronavirus and the Workers’ Compensation Claim
The Workers’ Compensation Claim aims to help injured workers who have faced financial losses resulting from injuries sustained at work. In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, workers can now also file for claims in case they contracted the disease and lost their wages.
However, since workers cannot claim compensation for the ‘common cold’ or for temporary diseases, there has been some ambiguity with regards to compensation in cases of coronavirus.
What You Should Know about Filing a COVID-19 Worker’s Compensation Claim
- The state of Washington’s Department of Labor and Industries announced on 5th March 2020 that, workers would be provided with benefits during their quarantine period, in case they have been exposed to the virus during duty.
The coverage will include:
- Payments for medical testing
- Treatment expenses in case of illness
- Indemnity payments for those who cannot work due to the sickness
- In order to file for the workers’ compensation claim, workers will have to show that:
- The disease was contracted on the jobsite and not anywhere else
- They would have had less chances of being infected elsewhere than on the job site
- There was a specific event where chances were high of contracting the disease
- Workers’ compensation is guaranteed for healthcare workers and first responders, due to their on-job exposure
- Time-loss benefits cease at the end of the prescribed quarantine period.
- For making a post-exposure quarantine claim, workers need to submit documentation proving that a public health officer or physician has ordered the extended quarantine period.
- Workers need to file their claims for time-loss payments for lost wages during the first 14 days of the exposure. Once the time period has ended or if the COVID-19 test shows up as negative, compensation will only be given if the disease is developed and not for the lost wages.
- Claims can be denied if the contraction of the disease is rendered ‘incidental’. Such as, if the entire workforce is perfectly healthy but one worker managed to contract the disease, as it would contradict the existence of the coronavirus in that particular workplace.
If you find it difficult understanding the procedure of COVID-19 claim, you can choose to schedule a free consultation with a law firm that specialises in workers’ compensation claims, such as the Walthew Law Firm.