Many employees across the country are entitled to workers’ compensation in case of a work-related injury or illness. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, claims have risen dramatically and some compensation guidelines have been adjusted to accommodate essential workers. To learn more about workers’ comp in Wisconsin during the pandemic, take a look at the answers to the frequently asked questions below.
A Guide to Workers’ Compensation During the COVID-19 Crisis
Are first responders who contract COVID-19 covered by workers’ compensation?
Yes. According to a bill signed into law in April 2020 and retroactive to March 12th, benefits in Wisconsin have been expanded to automatically include first responders diagnosed with COVID-19 during the current state of emergency. The claim may be contested, however, if there is evidence that exposure to the virus did not occur at work.
Who is considered a first responder?
Under Wisconsin law, a first responder is defined as an employee who provides law enforcement, firefighting, medical, or other emergency services, as well as any worker who has regular direct contact with COVID-19 patients.
Who else is covered?
If you are not a first responder, you must be able to provide evidence of exposure at your job or while performing work-related duties to receive workers’ compensation. You can build a circumstantial case by finding other employees who are also infected and by demonstrating ways that social distancing or sanitization was not being effectively performed at work.
What kind of support does workers’ compensation provide?
Eligible employees will receive reimbursement for hospital bills, rehabilitation services, medications, and other health care expenses arising from the illness. You may also receive compensation for lost wages if your doctor instructs you to take off work for more than three days.
If your work is trying to deny your workers’ compensation claim, get in touch with Fitzpatrick, Skemp & Butler, LLC of Onalaska, WI. Since 1982, these skilled attorneys have won more than $90 million for clients throughout western Wisconsin with a focus on La Crosse County. In addition to workers’ comp claims, they also specialize in personal injury and Social Security Disability appeals. Visit their website to learn more about their practice areas. Call (877) 784-1230 to schedule a consultation today.