The coronavirus outbreak has altered the normal course of business for Pennsylvania workers and the workers’ compensation agencies. As the state takes measures to slow the disease, the Department of Labor & Industry released guidelines for workers who contract coronavirus on the job. These new rules determine whether or not you may qualify for workers’ compensation after suffering from coronavirus.
While Pennsylvania continues taking precautionary measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the PA Department of Labor & Industry has provided two options for filing workers’ compensation claims:
Because authorities struggle to pinpoint how, when, and where COVID-19 spreads, most workers may find disease-as-injury claims difficult to prove. Example: You could become sick after working at a gas station all day, handling money and talking to hundreds of people. Unless you can prove that one of those customers gave you coronavirus, the insurance companies could argue you caught coronavirus on the bus ride home or when you visited the grocery store after work.
Workers who contract coronavirus and who are in an industry that has a higher risk of contracting it than the population as a whole may be more likely to receive workers’ compensation benefits by filing an occupational disease claim. Because the law gives a presumption the cause of the disease is within the worker’s profession or industry, occupational disease claims can be easier to argue than disease-as-injury claims.
Pennsylvania workers’ compensation law maintains important reporting deadlines you should know:
Talk to your lawyer about the medical complications you experience, as certain symptoms may determine whether or not you qualify for certain benefits. Specific respiratory diseases, for example, have stringent requirements that you may or may not meet in the normal course of your workday.
We applaud the efforts of our region’s health care professionals, lawmakers, and workers who have taken strides to protect themselves, our community members, and our local economy. We remain committed to workers in Western Pennsylvania now more than ever. We will stand by you through this pandemic to fight for the check you deserve. For more information, contact us.
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