COVID-19 has impacted the way employees think about work. Whether an employee works from home or in an office, there is a good chance that changes were made or are still in place because of the virus. For California employees, if they contract COVID-19 while working, they may wonder whether they are entitled to workers' compensation benefits.
In California and a majority of states, the answer is typically no. However, there are some exceptions.
Exceptions for Workers' Compensation and COVID-19
Workers' compensation can help workers who become injured or ill because of something with their job. This payout is used for medical expenses and missed wages, and it can also provide additional benefits for those who become seriously injured or die because of their job-related injuries or illness.
There are still many questions about the long-term impacts of COVID-19. However, researchers do know that the virus is typically spread through close contact with an infected person. This means that workers exposed to COVID-19 at work may be at risk of becoming ill. To receive workers' compensation, though, a worker will most likely have to be in a first responder or healthcare provider position and prove that they contracted the virus while treating an infected person. This can be difficult to justify, but if the worker has a doctor who can attest to the COVID-19 exposure at work, it may help their case.
Qualifying for Workers' Compensation
If someone believes they are entitled to workers' compensation benefits because of COVID-19, there are a few things they should do:
- See a doctor and get tested as soon as possible. This will not only help the worker get the treatment they need, but it will also provide documentation of their illness.
- Employer notification. Employees should do this in writing so that there is a record of the message. The notice should state that the employee got COVID-19 and was believed to be contracted while on the job.
- File a workers' compensation claim. Most employers are required to carry workers' compensation insurance, so employees may be able to file a claim.
Do You Qualify for Workers' Compensation?
If you have questions about workers' compensation in California or need help filing a claim, the team at The Sexton Law Firm can help. Our Chula Vista workers' compensation attorneys can guide you through the process and do everything possible to get you the benefits you deserve. Get started today by reaching out online or by phone. (619) 202-8976