Posts From May, 2022

Can Worker’s Compensation Cover Medical Marijuana

Many courts continue to struggle to decide if the cost of medical marijuana should be covered by worker’s compensation. In fact, many courts are ruling for the costs to be covered and having the injured compensated for reimbursement of medical marijuana purchases and to cover costs in the future.

Not only that, but many state supreme courts are also ruling to allow medical marijuana to be covered and reimbursed for injuries reported to worker’s compensation. Plus, with many states adopting medical marijuana as a law, many states require that it be covered. Despite this, there are some states that do not require medical marijuana to be covered and do not mandate the reimbursement of costs. Within Pennsylvania, an initial ruling allowed medical coverage, while a bill has been floating around that would not require the coverage of medical marijuana.

Other states have tried to deny the coverage of medical marijuana and any reimbursements but only failed in the process. Within Alabama, a law exists that protects an employer and its insurers from covering medical marijuana along with any reimbursements.

Determining Under the Influence

When it comes to determining if worker’s compensation will be approved, it must be determined if a worker was under the influence at the time of injury. Many standards are set in place that can recognize whether under the influence took place. However, each state has different standards. Other differences involve other impairments and intoxication indicators. This is making states consider whether an impact is made on marijuana that has been legalized for workers’ compensation purposes and the way to decide if marijuana intoxication has taken place.

With the introduction of legislation covering intoxication standards, it will be hard to tell if intoxication is taking place and how an impact could take place for workers’ compensation benefits when an employee was considered as being impaired while getting injured on the job. There is even some legislation that if an individual is refusing a drug test or fails a required drug test, then it can be assumed that impairment had taken place. Some states have exclusions for this type of legislation which covers medical marijuana.

Current law in North Dakota allows for a rebuttal that presumes marijuana caused an injury if the limit is a certain amount during a drug test. A refusal to take a drug test automatically denies a workers’ compensation claim. In Nevada, a law exists that covers the standards of under the influence of any controlled substance as well as marijuana for the purposes of workers’ compensation. An exception exists for those who have a medical marijuana prescription that is legal and current.

Conclusion

While medical marijuana has been a huge debate for being covered by workers’ compensation, the fact remains that the ultimate decision for coverage is left to the courts. If you feel like you should be covered by workers’ compensation for your medical marijuana, then you need to get a hold of our office today.

  • Posted on: May 24 2022
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Is COVID-19 Covered by Workers’ Compensation

Many jobs still do not have a way to allow remote work. If this is the case for you, then you could be at a higher risk of becoming infected by the Coronavirus the minute you step into your workspace.

The thing to know is if you will be covered by workers’ compensation if you become sick or gravely ill? The bad part is that the answer to this is based on what your state describes the sickness as and which will determine if compensation is warranted. In fact, many of the state policies in place are constantly changing. However, there needs to be some guidance in this matter.

The need to prove the Infections Source

Many workers’ compensation insurers are continuously arguing the fact that an exposure did not take place at the worksite. In fact, the state may even require the need for a burden of proof that can show infection took place while working.

Being a worker that is considered essential will allow a claim to become much easier to be proven that it took place while working. The reason is due to their direct contact with infected individuals. These essential workers are considered to be first responders, health care workers, and law enforcement.

If you are considered a nonessential worker, then the likelihood of proving exposure took place at work will become difficult while submitting a claim for workers’ compensation. You need to check with your state to see what the policies say if any.

Hopefully, if a state is not able to assume the exposure took place at work, then an assumption must be made while claiming for benefits. By assuming exposure took place at work, the insurer will need to show proof that it did not take place at work. If unable to show proof, then it assumed that exposure did take place.

Frequently, a rebuttable presumption is accepted by the fact that they are made by decrees on the state level or actions taken place through policies or legislation.

Get In Contact With An Experienced Workers Compensation Attorney

With a pandemic in full swing still, there still seems to be no way of telling how workers’ compensation truly works to cover a sick worker. Each state has their own initiatives in place relating to COVID-19. However, changes can occur quickly, and if an infection has taken place while working and you need to prove it, then your attorney will be able to assist. You should get a hold of an experienced attorney today so that you can go over the options you have. We will sit down with you and provide the most up-to-date information concerning policies covering the COVID-19 and how it is covered by workers’ compensation.

  • Posted on: May 15 2022
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