Does Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cover Coronavirus?
Employers take every reasonable precaution to make the workplace safe for their employees. Despite this, accidents can happen. This is when workers’ compensation insurance helps. It ensures that affected workers get medical care and benefits they need to get back on their feet.
What about COVID-19 workers’ compensation? Can those who are affected by the coronavirus claim benefits?
The answer to this question is: it depends. That’s because workers’ compensation rules are established by state statutes. Different states have different regulations.
The Role of the States in Coronavirus Compensation
Workers’ compensation insurance typically protects employees against bodily injuries by accidents or disease during the course of work. Many states exclude what they call the “ordinary diseases of life.”
According to the National Council on Compensation Insurance, Washington’s Department of Labor and Industries recently announced benefits to workers if they are quarantined after being exposed to coronavirus during working hours.
Coverage includes medical testing, treatment expenses, and indemnity payments for those who cannot work because they are infected.
So far, at least ten states have issued guidelines for coronavirus and workers’ compensation claims. They include coverage for testing, emergency room visits, and urgent care.
More states could follow. California has already announced that it will allow workers affected by coronavirus to use their disability benefits for the disease.
The Scope of Coverage
The main problem that most states are facing is to what extent the infection can be linked to workplace exposure.
First responders and those in healthcare, transportation, and hospitality are at a higher risk because of the nature of their work. The key question will be to determine whether it is workplace exposure or exposure to friends, families, and others that have caused the infection.
Employers and state lawmakers are certainly going to arrive at solutions to questions of workers’ compensation claims soon. For more information, advice, and resources on worker’s compensation insurance, contact our experts at Club Agency Insurance Brokerage in Garden City, New York. We are ready to assist you to get the right workers’ insurance coverage today.