Are You Eligible for Workers’ Comp If You Get COVID-19 in Arizona?
Posted in Uncategorized on December 12, 2022
The Covid-19 pandemic has essentially taken over our lives for years now. Since around March of 2020, we have all been living under a different set of rules put in place to keep a deadly virus from spreading. We’ve learned to adapt, and the US managed to create and manufacture a working vaccine faster than it ever has before. Workers’ compensation laws in many places also changed.
In Arizona, those who file workers’ compensation claims after contracting Covid in the workplace cannot automatically be denied coverage. However, there can still be denials if there is a valid justification, just like any other workplace injury claim.
Early Pandemic Workers’ Compensation Rules
When the pandemic first rolled through the country, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey did expand employees’ access to various medical resources, and he allowed benefits for those who got sick as a result of their workplace duties.
However, there is a major challenge when it comes to Covid-19 workers’ compensation claims, and it is the same challenge associated with any type of disease that can spread within the general public – how does one know for sure that they contracted the disease on the job?
Covid-19, especially the newer variants, are highly contagious, and individuals can contract them anywhere. The only way for a person can know for sure that they contracted a particular virus in the workplace is if they can prove that they could have only been exposed on the job, something that is nearly impossible to do.
New Cases of Covid-19 Abound – Are Workers Covered?
As we mentioned, workers cannot automatically be denied benefits if they file a claim with the workers’ comp insurance carrier after contracting Covid-19. However, it is almost a certainty that the insurance carrier or the employer will deny the claim initially.
If an employee wishes to receive benefits, they will have to establish by a preponderance of evidence that their occupational disease (in this case, Covid-19) arose as a result of their work-related duties. Every claim must be reviewed in good faith, and the denials should be based on well-grounded facts. The insurance carrier should conduct an investigation into the incident and review the place of the alleged exposure to Covid-19.
We recommend that any person who is denied coverage for a workers’ compensation Covid-19 claim contact an attorney immediately. A skilled workplace injury lawyer in Arizona can offer a free consultation on the claim and help the affected individual move forward toward recovering compensation.
There is no guarantee that the claim will be accepted, but for those who do become moderately to severely affected by the virus, compensation is essential. Covid-19 can leave individuals incredibly sick, even though this is not something discussed as much in the news anymore. If a person is unable to work for a longer period of time or if they suffer from extended “long Covid” symptoms, securing workers’ compensation benefits will be crucial. This compensation can help with all medical bills associated with the virus as well as a major portion of lost wages if the person is unable to work.