Can You Get Workers’ Compensation for COVID-19?

by James M. Hoffmann on Jan. 11, 2021

Accident & Injury Employment  Workers' Compensation Employment  Occupational Safety & Health 

Summary: Are you entitled to receiving workers’ compensation in this situation, and what do you have to do for it?

In times of pandemics, stressing about getting the virus is not the only issue we have. A lot of people are worried about losing their jobs or not being able to bring enough income for their families anymore.


When you find out you have tested positive for COVID-19, surely you are asking yourself if your employer is required to pay for your sick leave and medical treatment. Many patients require intensive care for several days, and this can be very costly. 


Are you entitled to receiving workers’ compensation in this situation, and what do you have to do for it?


Is COVID-19 an Occupational Illness?

In order to be eligible for workers’ compensation, your injuries or illness has to be caused by conditions at work and has to be contracted in the scope of work. When it comes to viruses you can contract anywhere, like the flu or the coronavirus that swiped the planet. So, it’s tricky to prove that you were exposed to it because of your work.


Your workers’ compensation case will depend on the type of work you are performing, the circumstances that led to your infection,  and how you approach the situation.


To be eligible for workers’ comp, you generally have to be able to prove that:


  • There’s direct causality between your work conditions and you contracting the illness;

  • Your work has directly exposed you to the virus;

  • You can prove that you have contracted the virus at work, and nowhere else

  • The risk of contracting the illness is much higher because of your work


Naturally, some jobs are eligible for workers’ compensation in the case of COVID-19 diagnosis: essential workers and first responders are covered by special regulations when it comes to the pandemic since they are more exposed than the rest of the population through the nature of their work.


What Should You Do If You Got COVID-19 at Work?

First of all, it’s very important to report your illness as soon as possible. Notify your employer, get seen by a doctor, and contact the responsible authorities as soon as you can. If you are having trouble getting a doctor’s appointment because of the pandemic, try to find one who can offer telemedicine services, and who can give you a report based on a video call or phone call.


Collect all medical records of treatments and investigations, because they will serve as the main evidence in your workers’ compensation case. 


Do You Need a Lawyer?

Are you unsure whether your line of work or the circumstances of you contracting the virus make you eligible for workers’ compensation? Contact an experienced St. Louis workers’ comp attorney and let them make an educated assessment. Our workers’ compensation attorneys offer free consultations and will only charge a fee if we get you a settlement. 

Call the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann 24/7 at (314) 361-4300

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