Workers’ Compensation Benefits During Coronavirus
March 23, 2020
The Coronavirus has opened a floodgate of questions concerning individual’s rights under Workers’ Compensation.
COVID-19 is a contagious respiratory illness that is often accompanied by a fever, shortness of breath, and a cough. Usually symptoms appear anywhere from 2 to 14 days after exposure. For most people, complications may be moderate but for some – like seniors or individuals who are immunocompromised or suffer from a chronic condition like diabetes or asthma – the complications can be deadly.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Workers’ Compensation is a type of insurance that provides wage replacement and medical benefits to individuals who were injured during the course of their employment due to negligence on their employer’s behalf.
What if I was on light duty and my employer shut down because of Coronavirus?
If you were on light duty because of a work injury, you may be entitled to total or full Workers’ Compensation benefits.
With Coronavirus shutting down many businesses, injured workers believe that their only option is to apply for unemployment compensation. However, that is not true for those with work-related injuries. If you were on light duty — or any kind of modified duty — and your employer closed its business due to coronavirus, you are entitled to total Workers’ Compensation disability benefits. This is because you are out of work due to no fault of your own and you previously were injured on the job.
What if I contracted Coronavirus through my job?
Workers who were physically injured on the job are not the only ones who can file Workers’ Compensation claims. Workers exposed to COVID-19 while working may also be eligible to receive those benefits in Pennsylvania. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry (DLI), exposure to the virus that results in an illness may be considered either an occupational disease or injury. If so, individuals may file a Workers’ Compensation claim.
As soon as a worker knows that he or she was exposed to COVID-19 or has been diagnosed, they should report the injury to their employer or supervisor on duty.
If a claim is accepted, individuals approved for Workers’ Compensation can expect to receive the following important and helpful benefits:
- A weekly pay rate equal to 2/3 of the claimant’s average weekly wages earned for the year prior to the injury,
- 100% coverage of medical expenses related to the reported injury for as long as the injured party requires treatment
Individuals who already receive Workers’ Compensation benefits should expect to continue receiving them.
To learn more visit https://www.uc.pa.gov/Pages/covid19.aspx and call our firm to speak with an experienced Workers’ Compensation attorney.
Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP Representing Injured Individuals Since 1947
If you have a legal question, please contact our Philadelphia personal injury attorneys. With offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, Galfand Berger serves clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.