Workers’ Compensation and COVID-19

As more people begin to flood back into the workplace, many are still worried about potentially contracting and spreading the COVID-19 disease. The excitement to get back to normal socially and economically have many Americans thankful to even have a job to return to. Once the “epicenter” of America’s COVID-19 cases, New York has seen thousands of people gradually returning to their daily routines, but fear of an outbreak is not gone.

Workers’ Compensation in New York
In New York, all employers are required to carry workers’ compensation for employees who become injured or ill at work. Earlier in the year, the New York Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) confirmed that employees are eligible for this financial compensation. The only issue is, however, that you must be able to prove you contracted the virus at work, which may be difficult to do. You will need to establish the specific source of your infection or show that you were exposed at an elevated risk. You will also be asked details about your job, schedule, duties, and public exposure.

What Does It Cover?
Workers’ Compensation covers medical expenses and about two-thirds of your average weekly salary if your illness prevents you from working. It will also provide benefits to your surviving dependents in the event of your death. Certain New York counties also provide funeral expense reimbursement of a certain amount.

If you have tested positive for COVID-19, it is important that you notify your employer as soon as possible. They will then notify their insurance carrier of the potential claim while you are given time to fill out the proper forms. Ask your doctor to send your test results to the WCB as soon as possible. Taking care of every step quickly is vital to getting your benefits quickly. If you need further information regarding the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board’s response to COVID-19 you can contact us with any questions or concerns.