As with any work-related exposure that causes the need for medical treatment, time off work, and injury, you can make a claim for contracting COVID-19 at work. And like other work-related injury claims, you must provide evidence that you contracted the virus in the course of your employment. If you suspect an employment-related exposure to COVID-19, it’s legally appropriate to file a compensation claim with the company that you work for. Our Phoenix Workers Compensation Lawyers from Snow, Carpio & Weekley, and PLC can help you with filing your claims with your employer.
The first step would be obtaining, completing, and submitting a workers’ compensation claim form to the employer; a spoken report is not enough to start a claim. After receiving your written claim, the employer will process the claim with his or her insurance company within a day and refer you out for a health checkup. The insurance company is then given 14 days by the law to decide if it is going to accept, delay, or reject your claims. Normally, the insurance company will deny the claims due to a lack of evidence that connects the exposure of the virus to your work. If your claim is delayed, the insurance company is given 90 days to decide whether it accepts or rejects the claims.
If your claim is rejected, you will not get any compensation for the medical treatment or time off through the Workers’ Compensation scheme. Since time is essential to get medical assistance, you will need to get medical treatment on your own. Our workers’ compensation attorneys can assist in pursuing the process of trying to prove your claim later.
If your claim is delayed, the insurance company has to pay up to $10,000 in medical treatment during the delay period before denying the claim. However, you will not get compensation for a temporary disability during the delay period.
In most cases, even a valid Workers; Compensation claim can take months or more to determine your eligibility for the benefits – temporary disability and medical treatment. If you want to file a claim, ensure that you keep all your medical treatment history, and make sure that you update your employer about your work and medical status.
Will Covid-19 affect my case?
With the quick spread of the virus, many Phoenix employers are questioning the effect of Covid-19 on the workers’ compensation system. How can you be certain that you contracted the virus at work when you have visited other public places? An infected person can continue with his or her daily activities without even realizing he or she has the virus since the symptoms don’t manifest immediately. Thus, it can be very difficult to prove that the virus is a result of work-related activity.
Each potential case regarding the virus should be reviewed and investigated independently to ultimately prove that the virus was contracted at the patient’s place of employment.
Things are continually changing with the different regulations and restrictions that are being placed on individuals, insurance companies, law firms, and doctors by the federal and state governments and CDC. If you have any questions regarding work-related Covid-19 claims, contact our workers’ compensation lawyers at Snow, Carpio & Weekley, PLC, to help you in coming up with a game plan for your case.