If you think you contracted COVID-19 due to exposure as a result of work or perhaps traveling to work, you might wonder if you’re qualified for workers’ compensation benefits. In most US states, getting such compensation might be quite tricky unless you’re an essential worker or a first responder who treated an infected person. Overall, it depends on your job’s nature, circumstances surrounding your case, and your state rules.
Workers’ Compensation Rules For Infections Like COVID-19
Generally, workers’ compensation tends to cover any disease or illness contracted because of work – In legal terms, occupational diseases. However, there are some diseases not regarded as occupational illnesses. However, COVID-19 might be treated differently in most cases. Some of the reason why you might qualify for workers compensation includes:
- The nature of the job, if it was one, puts you at higher risk of contracting the virus.
- If you contract the virus due to exposure while doing your work
Since COVID-19 affects the entire world, it might not be easy to meet some of these requirements that qualify you for workers’ compensation. However, many have argued that pandemics are often taking care of by the law. Though, Peterson said that Missouri law doesn’t compensate individuals because they were hurt or injured while working.
He believes that the vast majority of COVID-19 claims will be unsuccessful since the disease is a general worldwide pandemic. Irrespective of employments, one can get the virus at work or anywhere. In other states like South Carolina, workers’ compensation has been ruled out compensation when employees contract a disease either from a coworker or outside of work.
A Job That Puts You At Risk Of COVID-19
First responders and healthcare workers are highly exposed to COVID-19, especially in a pandemic with limited protective equipment. However, those in other occupations like bus drivers, grocery workers, and so on might show that their job’s nature also put them at high risk compared to the rest of the population.
Can Federal Employees Get Workers’ Comp Benefit?
The Division of Federal Employees’ Compensation (DFEC) created a unique procedure for handling compensation claims by federal workers who contracted the virus while doing their job. Going by how difficult it is to tell how anyone gets this disease, the body has considered individual federal workers who are more at risk of infection.
If you’re a high-risk federal worker, you can file a comp claim. But you will need to provide some evidence regarding your exposure to the virus, along with some medical reports.
Getting workers compensation for getting infected with COVID-19 is an uncertain route, as it might prove successful or not. However, enough evidence from high-risk federal workers might be all that’s someone needs to be eligible. But if you’re not a high-risk worker, it becomes problematic.
Contact Franks & Rechenberg. P.C. Attorneys at Law to help with your case.