Can I File for Workers’ Comp If I Have Covid-19?
- Posted on: Dec 23 2020
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected millions of people around the world. Businesses have closed, schools have gone to virtual education, and medical professionals have dealt with overcrowded hospitals and testing centers. If you have continued working at your standard job site and have been exposed to Covid-19, can you file for workers’ comp? After all, there’s a chance you wouldn’t have contracted the coronavirus if you hadn’t been at work. Because the illness is so new and rules were not written with a global pandemic in mind, the answer is, unfortunately, not so clear.
Workers’ Comp Typically Doesn’t Cover Similar Illnesses
In the past, it has been established that workers’ comp doesn’t apply to any illness or disease that is classified as being community-spread. This includes things like the common cold, the flu, and other conditions that could be spread through standard human contact. On the surface, Covid-19 does fall into this category. The argument can be made that you could come into contact with someone contagious at any location and while doing any activity, so it’s not a work-related risk. However, because of the unique circumstances of the pandemic, some employers and states do consider Covid to be an occupational condition that is covered by workers’ comp under certain conditions.
You Must Be Able to Link Your Infection to the Workplace
Like any other type of workers’ comp claim, you have to be able to directly show that you only contracted Covid because you were at work or were performing a work-related duty elsewhere. Because you may not show symptoms of Covid for several days after contracting it, it’s not always easy to know where you were exposed. In some cases, such as medical workers, first responders, and care providers, it may be easy to connect Covid to your job. In other cases, though, you may not be able to do so. In those cases, your workers’ comp claim may be denied.
The Covid-19 pandemic has already created a great amount of stress, especially in those who do have to continue working in jobs that require contact with the public. Knowing that workers’ comp is available to help with medical and other costs can be a relief. If you need assistance in filing your workers’ comp claim, Maximum Orthopedics can help. Contact us today for a free consultation.