The Coronavirus pandemic has transformed nearly every aspect of our daily lives. Worker’s compensation lawsuits were not exempt from this.
COVID-19 has affected worker’s compensation cases in two major ways: 1) It has slowed down the court’s time to process worker’s compensation cases, and 2) some workers are now applying to receive worker’s compensation because they contracted COVID-19 at work.
Will My Worker’s Compensation Case Be Delayed Because Of Covid-19?
Depending on where you live, your worker’s compensation case may be delayed because of COVID-19. In many states, courts are open and operating, but doing so remotely. In North Carolina, courts are operating at a reduced capacity and with social distancing measures in place. See how your county is operating here.
Can I receive Worker’s Compensation If I Am Exposed To COVID-19 At work?
Suppose you were exposed to COVID-19 at work and hope to receive worker’s compensation benefits. In that case, you’ll need your legal team to prove that you contracted the Coronavirus at work and that your job put you at a higher risk of exposure than the rest of the general public.
Each State governs whether employees can receive worker’s compensation benefits upon contracting COVID-19. First responders and healthcare workers, who work in direct contact with infected patients, will easily receive benefits in most states.
Other states such as New Jersey, California, and Illinois have expanded the benefits to a larger employee range.
If I Have To Quarantine For 14-Days, Do I Qualify For Wage-Loss Benefits?
Many workers have access to paid sick leave, so if you need to quarantine and your employer does not offer remote working, paid sick leave will be your best resource to avoid any lost wages.
However, if you do not have paid sick leave, you may qualify for temporary disability payments through workers’ compensation to help compensate for your wage loss. However, these benefits can be challenging to access unless you are a healthcare provider or first responder who regularly interacts with infected people.
Beware that temporary disability benefits only pay about two-thirds of your average weekly wage before you were injured, so these benefits still may not cover your entire monthly expenses.
Each state also has different waiting periods before workers can collect benefits, so if your state’s waiting period is seven days, and you’re quarantining for 14, you may only get paid for half of the quarantine period.
How Should I Handle My Worker’s Compensation Case During The Pandemic?
If you need to file a worker’s compensation claim for any reason, reach out to the legal team at Knox Law Center. We have 60 years of experience dealing with worker’s compensation cases in North Carolina and can advise you on the best route to take for your case.
We provided free consultations so you can receive guidance about your case at no risk to you.
If you have been recently injured at work, insurance companies may take advantage of your inexperience navigating the legal system. Knox Law Center can help you receive worker’s compensation benefits and not miss out because you didn’t know the rules so call today.