Will I Receive Workers’ Compensation for COVID-19?
As the coronavirus continues to sweep the nation, workers are wondering if they qualify for Workers’ Compensation benefits if they contract COVID-19 on the job. In most states, the only workers that may qualify for Workers’ Compensation benefits are those who work in the health care field or as a first responder. The nature of your job and the specific circumstances surrounding your workplace will determine if you qualify for benefits.
How Are Workers Protected?
The New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act was originally passed in 1911 and then amended to include those with occupational illnesses. Illnesses and diseases contracted through the workplace included anthrax poisoning, lead poisoning, mercury poisoning, and Caisson disease, among others. The act was amended once again in 1949 to compensate workers for other health problems that were caused by their workplaces.
Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Illnesses?
Workers’ Compensation normally covers diseases that workers contract at work or because of their work. The challenge with the coronavirus is that it can be difficult to figure out where someone contracted the virus from. A worker may state that he or she was exposed to COVID-19 at work, but this might not necessarily be the case. A widespread, infectious disease affects the whole community, and it is difficult to pinpoint the exact person or place of where it came from.
What if You Contract Coronavirus at Work?
In New Jersey, the courts have been more lenient with granting Workers’ Compensation benefits to those who believe that they were exposed to the coronavirus at work. The worker in question needs to prove a probable link between their workplace conditions and the occupational disease to be considered for benefits. It is recommended to hire a Workers’ Compensation lawyer for help with legal disputes and appeals and to help with the process of filing a claim through the worker’s employer.
In recent news, the New Jersey Senate President, Stephen Sweeney, has discussed his new legislation proposal that will provide compensation to essential workers if they get sick at work. If an essential worker contracts the coronavirus from interacting with the public during work hours, he or she might be eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits.
Should You Contact a Lawyer?
For complicated Workers’ Compensation claims, the best option is to contact a skilled Workers’ Compensation attorney who can help navigate your case. Each case is different and there is no guarantee that, despite the current laws delegating Workers’ Compensation benefits, your case will be denied. Our legal team can help ensure that appropriate benefits are obtained.
Piscataway Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Advocate for Victims of COVID-19
If you believe that you have contracted COVID-19 through your workplace, our Piscataway Workers’ Compensation lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr will fight for your rights. We understand the difficulties involved in this pandemic and its impact on workers across the country. For a free consultation, call us at 732-249-4600 or 877-249-4600 or contact us online. Located in Highland Park, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, and Colonia.