Since the coronavirus pandemic has struck the U.S. many workers who have been deemed essential have been wondering if they can make a worker’s compensation claim should they become ill with the virus.
In general, employees cannot claim worker’s compensation if they get sick with the coronavirus. Because the coronavirus is spreading in the community, it would generally not fall under illness covered by worker’s compensation. Worker’s compensation is designed to compensate an employee for injuries arising from regular work duties. However, there are individuals in some professions who may be more at risk of contracting the coronavirus by the very nature of their professions. One such profession is first responders. Because of these added risks that first responders face, ABC 4 News reports that Representative Russel Fry of Horry County has been pushing to include coronavirus coverage in worker’s compensation coverage for first responders.
First responders have been working extra hard during the coronavirus pandemic, with ABC 4 News reporting that many first responders have been putting in more shifts than they normally would due to the increased demand for medical care and due to increased need. As of this writing, more than one million Americans have contracted the coronavirus, and the New York Times reports that more than 50,000 people have died of the coronavirus in the U.S.
While many dense cities have seen their infection rates fall, more rural areas are just starting to see more cases. And, as some parts of the nation move to re-open for business, epidemiologists estimate that we are likely to see more coronavirus infections in the coming weeks and months.
In the weeks to come, Americans will rely on first responders to answer their calls for help. Many people have called for our leaders to protect them should they fall ill.
Another issue that has also been raised has been the fact that volunteer medical professionals who are stepping up to help may also not have access to crucial healthcare plans or worker’s compensation to help them should they get sick. There have been movements across the country to remedy these issues.
So, what can you do if you are a first responder and get sick with the coronavirus? As of this writing, first responders who fall ill with the coronavirus are not covered by worker’s compensation. However, first responders who fall ill should be sure to document their medical appointments, keep medical records of hospitalizations or other costs, and keep receipts for any bills or medications prescribed. If laws change, keeping records could be important should first responders need to make a claim.
In the weeks ahead, the worker’s compensation lawyers at the Hayes Law Firm Upstate Attorneys, LLC in Greenville, South Carolina will be closely watching how governors respond to the coronavirus crisis and will be here to help first responders should they need to make a worker’s compensation claim or should they have difficulty settling a claim. Contact our worker’s compensation law firm today or reach out to USAttorneys.com to connect with a worker’s compensation lawyer at the Hayes Law Firm Upstate Attorneys, LLC.