Can an Employee Obtain Workers’ Compensation Benefits Due to COVID-19?
Usually, if you are injured on the job or exacerbate an injury while performing work duties, workers’ compensation in Florida covers you. However, many people have questions about COVID-19. If you have contracted COVID-19 at work, can you apply for workers’ comp benefits?How to Apply for Workers’ Compensation Benefits After Getting COVID-19
In Florida, you must prove you contracted an illness from your employment or during the course of your employment in order to get benefits. To secure workers’ compensation, you must also lose work time due to the illness.
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation has issued memos regarding COVID-19, directing insurers to ensure workers’ compensation is offered to high-risk workers hired by the state. Front line workers, including EMTs, doctors, nurses, and other public servants who are working on the front lines will be able to secure workers’ compensation if they contract COVID-19 on the job.
To apply, you will need to show you have the virus. You can also improve your claim if you can show evidence your job puts you at a higher risk of COVID-19. However, this situation is ongoing. In addition, right now the priority is on front-line workers hired by the state. If you are a grocery store worker or delivery driver or work for a municipality, you may not be covered by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation directive. You may still qualify for workers’ compensation, however. You may alternatively qualify for emergency benefits offered specifically for COVID-19.Challenges with Workers’ Compensation Benefits and COVID-19
Florida has issued a stay-at-home order until May 4, but stay-at-home orders for Broward County and Miami county have been extended past that date. This can create some confusion for those who work from home and contract COVID-19 during their work outside their traditional workplace.
It can also be a challenge to prove you contracted the virus from work. In fact, with a shortage of tests in some parts of the state it may be hard to get tested to prove you have contracted the illness. The virus is also very new and can stay dormant for up to two weeks, which can make it hard to trace and difficult to establish.
If you are a front-line worker, you may be able to more easily prove your work caused you to contract the virus. It is expected that leniency will be shown to those most at risk to ensure they get benefits, though this is not yet certain and may vary from insurer to insurer.Contact Flaxman Law Group With Your COVID-19 Claim
If you are having a hard time securing your rightful workers’ compensation benefits after contracting COVID-19, contact Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN) for a free consultation. Charles Flaxman, our principal, worked for ten years in the insurance industry before dedicating himself to helping plaintiffs, so he understands how to communicate effectively with insurers. He also has decades of experience both in the court room and at the negotiating table with workers’ compensation cases. Our team is currently offering virtual, free, and no obligation case evaluations, so you risk nothing by speaking with our legal team about your case.