While many of us are either working from home or unemployed because of the COVID-19 outbreak, essential workers are still going to work and putting themselves at higher risk for contracting the coronavirus.
While some may be unsure if this illness is covered under workers’ compensation, others are not waiting to find out. FOX43 reports more than 600 Pennsylvanians have filed workers’ compensation claims over COVID-19.
Schmidt Kramer partner Scott Cooper was recently interviewed by FOX43 on this subject. Workers’ compensation is not the same as unemployment or taking sick time. You can obtain compensation for medical expenses and potentially two-thirds of your average weekly wage if you are out of work for more than five or seven days, says Cooper.
You have just 21 days from getting the virus to file a claim, so it is important to act quickly to have a chance of obtaining benefits.
The difficult part of a workers’ compensation claim over the coronavirus is proving you were exposed and contracted the virus in the workplace. There are so many places you could come in contact with the virus when you are not working.
That is why Cooper recommends keeping track of where you go when you are working. If all you were doing was going from your home to your job and you live alone, there is no other way you could have contracted the virus.
Healthcare workers may have an easier time proving on-the-job exposure. “Which is basically saying an inordinate amount of people in my occupation have this disease and therefore you can infer that this coverage exists for the COVID-19 injury I’m having,” says Cooper.
The workers’ compensation system generally covers full-time and part-time workers, but not independent contractors.
If you file a claim and it is denied, Pennsylvania gives you three years from the date of your injury to appeal this decision.
Contact Schmidt Kramer for a Free Consultation
Think you may have contracted COVID-19 on the job?
You may be eligible for compensation from the workers’ compensation system and the Harrisburg workers’ compensation attorneys at our firm may be able to help you recover benefits. We offer a free legal consultation and can handle your case without the need for a face-to-face meeting.
Our firm has a proven track record of recovering compensation for injury victims and there are no upfront fees – we only get paid if you get paid.
Find out more about how we may be able to help you by calling (717) 888-8888.