As the nation and the world struggle to get ahead of the Coronavirus pandemic, the impact of the event and the illness is being felt in every segment of life and society. It seems that more questions than answers are arising on a virtually daily basis. One area currently being questioned is whether or not workers who develop COVID-19 may be able to claim and receive workers’ compensation benefits.
State differences seen in early response to issue
So far, there is no indication as to how the State of New York may address potential Coronavirus workers’ compensation claims. However, some other states are starting to tackle this issue. In Washington State, where the virus has claimed numerous lives already, the Governor has already stated that first responders and health care professionals may be granted workers’ compensation benefits. People must have been exposed to the virus and then subsequently ordered to be quarantined by a public health official or a doctor. The benefits may include lost wages, medical treatment and medical testing.
Workers’ Comp Executive reports that California has yet to take this step and instead indicates that any potential workers’ compensation benefits would require more than simple exposure to the virus. It seems that California may require people to prove causation that any illness was contracted while they were conducting their jobs or was in some way directly related to their employment.
Employees deserve help
People who become sick and unable to work due to the Coronavirus may want to carefully watch the emerging situation and how New York State opts to support workers.