As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, the American way of life is undergoing drastic and abrupt changes. Some of these changes have impacted workers’ compensation while raising new questions about how these claims work. The attorneys of Nikolaus & Hohenadel are here to help workers throughout Central Pennsylvania as they grapple with the adjustments that coronavirus will bring.
If I Contract Coronavirus At Work, Can I File A Workers’ Compensation Claim?
You may be eligible for workers’ compensation if you come down with coronavirus at work.
The first step in pursuing a workers’ compensation claim is to timely notify your employer. In fact, failing to do this could invalidate your claim. Once your employer is notified, the workers’ compensation carrier will be contacted and will open an investigation.
After the investigation, your claim will either be denied, accepted or provisionally accepted. However, given the novelty of the coronavirus pandemic and the effect it has had on workers, this is a developing area of workers’ compensation law. It is also possible that the economic disruptions caused by the virus could slow the investigation of your claim. As a result, you should speak with an experienced, Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialist as soon as possible to make sure your rights are protected.
How Might My Job And Work Duties Affect My Claim?
Certain industries and occupations are being hit harder by coronavirus than others. For instance, healthcare professionals and first responders are more likely to be exposed to coronavirus than office workers. The same is true for those who work for essential businesses, such as grocery stores.
What If I Contract Coronavirus While Working From Home?
Working from home, or remote work, on the scale necessitated by coronavirus is a recent phenomenon. Any injury or illness you suffer at home, including from coronavirus, must be linked to your employment if you wish to file a workers’ compensation claim. This could be a challenge if working from home. But if you believe your work, even if from home, is responsible for your illness, you should consult a Certified Workers Compensation specialist to assist with your claim.
What Are The Workers’ Compensation Benefits For A Coronavirus Claim?
Wage loss benefits (usually two-thirds of an employee’s average weekly wage) and payment for medical bills are the main benefits provided by the Workers Compensation Act. But there are limitations and qualifications. For instance, no wage loss benefits are payable until the eighth day. As for medical bills, the worker has to follow certain rules about his or her treatment or the bills may not be paid. You should consult a Workers’ Compensation Specialist to learn more about your potential benefits.
Could I Be Laid Off While I’m On Workers’ Compensation?
The current economic climate is putting tremendous stress on employers, with layoffs looming as the crisis continues. An employee can be laid off while on workers’ compensation, regardless of whether the basis for the claim is coronavirus or some other illness or injury. If you are currently receiving workers’ compensation wage loss benefits, or have ongoing restrictions from a work injury, you may be entitled to reinstate your workers’ compensation benefit during a layoff or furlough. Consult with a Workers Compensation Specialist to see if your benefits should be reinstated.
How Can Nikolaus & Hohenadel Help Me?
Coronavirus is an ever-changing issue that has understandably left many Pennsylvania workers anxious. New laws, stay-at-home orders, and economic turbulence will undoubtedly have an impact on the workers’ compensation system. The pandemic will also likely affect how quickly workers’ compensation claims are handled, as everything from claims investigations to the courts have to contend with the crisis.
In these uncertain times, you can trust the experience of Nikolaus & Hohenadel. Our skilled workers’ compensation attorneys can advise you on your legal rights and get the benefits you deserve. If coronavirus has affected you or a loved one, let us answer your workers’ compensation questions. Call us today to schedule a consultation.