The Coronavirus pandemic has put retail, restaurant, and other service industry workers in a tough position. If they want to keep their jobs, they must risk their health and deal with an often unruly public that’s determined to flaunt local mask ordinances in the name of preserving personal freedom. The longer they work in those high-risk essential positions, the more likely they are to get exposed to COVID-19. If you’re an essential worker employed in a high-risk job, you still have rights. Here’s what you need to know about filing a workers’ compensation claim if you’re diagnosed with COVID-19.
Speak to Your Employer First
After getting tested and receiving a diagnosis, the first step you should take is to speak with your employer. Don’t go to your workplace. Instead, call your manager and let them know what happened. Tell them that you would like to file a workers’ compensation claim to help with your recovery.
As an essential worker in a high-risk industry, the Department of Labor recognizes that you’re most likely to be exposed to Coronavirus in the course of your regular duties. They’re willing to accept workers’ compensation claims for COVID-19 cases for employees in those positions. That said, your employer must support the workers’ compensation claim in order for you to qualify.
Fill Out the Necessary Paperwork
Assuming your employer supports your workers’ compensation claim, you’ll need to fill out the necessary paperwork. Your manager should give you the forms shortly after you tell them that you’re sick. Fill each form out as thoroughly as possible and include your doctor’s information and any supplemental documentation they give you to further speed up the claim.
Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company will review your claim and issue you the money you need to pay for your medical expenses and make up for lost income while you recover. This can take a few weeks, so the sooner you file your claim, the better.
What to Do If Your Employer Won’t Help
Unfortunately, some employers may resist and refuse to help you file a workers’ compensation claim if you’re diagnosed with COVID-19. Many believe that since you can’t prove you caught the virus at work, you’re not entitled to workers’ compensation. Though every situation is different, the best thing you can do is speak with a personal injury attorney to discuss your case. They’ll be able to help you understand your rights and can fight on your behalf to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
Contact Us Today
You’ve put in the time and have offered services that our community relies on every day. If you’ve been recently diagnosed with COVID-19 and work in an essential service industry, you deserve respect and compensation for your services. Don’t wait. Contact our firm today to discuss your options. Attorney Mark A. Simon has decades of experience working on behalf of workers and injured employees to ensure that they receive fair treatment from their employers and their employers’ workers’ compensation insurance companies every time.