How to Easily Get Your Workers’ Comp After Contracting COVID-19 at Work
California employees who have contracted COVID-19 at their workplaces will be able to access their workers’ compensation benefits (or workers’ comp) faster; this is due to the executive order signed by Governor Gavin Newsom on May 5.
Unlike the original criteria, which ensured that only essential employees could receive workers’ compensation, Governor Newsom’s executive order releases this benefit for all workers; however, to do so, the worker must meet certain criteria:
- Must be diagnosed with COVID-19 by a licensed physician
- The diagnosis must have occurred within 14 days after the last day of work. If you wait, it will take longer to get an official diagnosis, and it will be more difficult to prove that COVID-19 was contracted at work.
- The diagnosis should have occurred between March 19 and July 5.
- You should be working at your workplace, not at home.
If the employee meets the aforementioned criteria, he will obtain:
Prompt response. The insurance company only has 30 days to accept or reject the request. The worker will not have to wait the normal time of 90 days.
Medical treatment. You will be paid for the treatment you require and you will be reimbursed for the expenses you have made so far.
Temporary disability benefits. To receive it, you must first exhaust your federal sick leave benefits for COVID-19 and must obtain a Temporary Disabled certificate from a doctor.
Death benefits. If a worker meets the criteria but dies from COVID-19, his/her family may be entitled to compensation for wrongful death, depending on the number of beneficiaries he/she has, and their relationship with the deceased.
Be Careful, Not Everyone Agrees!
If you acquired COVID-19 while working and meeting the above criteria, you need to seek legal advice immediately, as obtaining workers’ comp may not be as easy as Governor Newsom says.
Employers, represented by the California Chamber of Commerce, have spoken out against the governor’s executive order. They have even stated that it will unnecessarily increase costs for companies “at a time when they are struggling to keep Californians employed.”
CalChamber said that the private sector did not cause this crisis and it should not be the safety net to pay for it; therefore, workers should be able to receive benefits under the federal CARES Act, instead of transferring the cost of the pandemic to employers.
As if that were not enough, in the next few days, Governor Newsom will announce the specific criteria under which employers may refuse to comply with a COVID-19 workers’ compensation petition, so it is in your best interest to have legal advice to avoid the violation of your worker’s rights.
At Farahi Law Firm we are available 24/7 to answer your questions about employment law and workers’ compensation. We have the specialists to advise you and get the compensation you deserve. Please, do not hesitate and contact us today! If you prefer, you can call us at (844) 824-2955 for a free evaluation of your case.