COVID-19 and Workers’ Compensation Insurance Claims
As a business owner, you may have suffered a loss during the COVID-19 lockdown. If you were forced to shut your business doors, you may be wondering how you’re going to recover. What’s more, if your employees were infected with the virus, they may be looking for compensation from your business in the form of a workers’ compensation claim.
Whether workers’ compensation claims related to COVID-19 will be paid is a question to be answered case by case and state by state. Typically, workers’ comp covers employers for employee claims regarding “bodily injury by accident or bodily injury by disease.” Many state statues, however, exclude “ordinary disease of life.”
At the time of writing, workers’ compensation insurers in at least two states have said that they will guarantee benefits for health workers and first responders. The announcement follows a decision by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries to pay wage-loss and medical treatment expenses for any health care worker or first responder who is quarantined because of coronavirus exposure.
For health insurance, however, at least 10 states have issued mandates to cover COVID-19. These mandates vary, but they can include coverage for testing, emergency room visits, and hospital stays.
If expanded to more states, these mandates could limit workers’ compensation claims in cases where only testing or quarantine are necessary.
Do you have questions regarding your workers’ compensation? Do not hesitate to contact Hoffman Brown Company.