Tom R Johnson Attorney at Law can help assure you get the workers compensation benefits you are entitled to including temporary disability for up to 2 years, permanent disability and retraining benefits.
COVID 19 WORKER’S COMPENSATION CLAIMS
Unless the only place you were ever around other people was work you cant be 100% sure you contracted the disease at work. So in order to win your case you need a presumption typically.
Labor Section 3212.86 has created a very limited presumption for proving a workers compensation claims for non-frontline workers based on being exposed to COVID on the job. The presumption differs between front line workers and rank and filers as well as when the exposure occurs.
If you were working and exposed between March 19, 2020 and July 5, 2020 it applies.
For exposure cases after July 5, 2020 there is new presumption for frontline workers, police officers, fire fighters, and employees who provide direct patient care. It also applies to other employees of health facilities unless the employer can prove there was no exposure to a COVID positive patient in the previous 14 days.
NOW FOR THE REST OF US.
You have to show you tested positive within 14 days of the last time your worked and that has to have happened after July 5, 2020.
You have to have an employer who has more than 4 employees.
Another 4 other employees have to have tested positive within 14 days of your positive test or 4 % of the employees if there are more than 100 employees at the location.
Should I file a workers compensation claim for contracting COVID at work?
First you have to understand what benefits you do receive under worker’s compensation to make that decision. Those benefits basically include for an accepted case: medical care (severely limited by regulations), two thirds of wages while temporarily off work to two years, permanent disability payments ususally at 290 per week for a number of weeks based on your percentage rating, mileage and retraining voucher and supplement.
If you have private medical insurance then you have probably have better medical care than what is provided under worker’s compensation. You can also receive approximately the same temporary disability compensation for up to a year under a state disability claim as long as you have a work history of paying into EDD for an adequate time. So if you can hold off on the .55 cent per mile mileage to the doctors and back it makes sense to wait if you have adequate EDD balances and private medical care. But be warned you must file and application with the court within 1 year of your exposure to preserve your rights. Even if you do not hire a lawyer and make an immediate claim for your work injury you should work with a lawyer to make sure you can ultimately file your claim within the 1 year time frame to collect permanent benefits if you end up having permanent problems to avoid losing your right to do it.
Tom R Johnson
Attorney at Law