Many employees are covered by workers’ compensation that protects them from work-related hazards, including injuries and illnesses. With COVID-19, there has been an exponential rise in claims for benefits, which has presented challenges to those who need these them now more than ever. To get your compensation promptly, learn more below.
What You Need to Know About Workers’ Compensation & COVID-19
Does workers’ compensation cover infectious diseases?
In general, workers’ compensation covers diseases “arising out of and in the course of employment.” Although flu is not considered an occupational illness, COVID-19 is another matter altogether because of its novelty.
States have different ways of dealing with COVID-19 as an occupational disease, so it’s best to check state laws and regulations. In Massachusetts, it is an occupational disease, allowing you to file claims for contracting it on the job.
How do you prove work-related exposure?
Employees who contract COVID-19 while performing job-related duties must inform their employees first. If you aren’t in a high-risk profession, such as healthcare, you must provide evidence of exposure. You may not qualify for claims if you can't demonstrate how and when you were exposed to the virus while working.
What support can you expect to get?
If you're eligible for workers' compensation benefits, you'll receive reimbursement for medical care expenses and rehabilitation as needed. Likewise, you're entitled to lost wages, but only a portion of your paycheck.
Remember that you're not eligible for both workers' compensation and unemployment benefits, whether or not there's a pandemic.
Do you have other options if claims are denied?
If the insurance company rejects your workers' compensation claim due to COVID-19, you can escalate the matter to the Department of Industrial Accidents, as it's considered an injury. Consider consulting an attorney as well to discuss your next steps. They'll assess the validity of your claim to determine what applies to your situation.
If you have questions about workers’ compensation during the coronavirus pandemic, turn to Bellotti Law Group, P.C. in Boston, MA. Their attorneys have provided top-notch legal counsel and representation to victims of wrongful death, personal injury, and work-related accidents throughout the Boston metro area. Get in touch today at (617) 778-1000 or visit them online to schedule an appointment.