COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus, is sweeping across the nation. As a result, businesses, airports and community services have shut down. These shutdowns will hopefully help slow the spread of the virus. Yet, many employees still need to go into work to perform their jobs. Healthcare workers, sanitation workers and utility workers are some jobs that cannot stop during this pandemic. As such, the global outbreak of the Coronavirus has many wondering what happens if they get sick. If workers contract the Coronavirus at work, can they collect workers’ compensation benefits?
How Is Coronavirus Affecting Workers’ Compensation?
To collect workers’ compensation, you must suffer an injury or illness while performing your job. It is difficult to clearly establish that you contracted COVID-19 while performing your job. However, if you are a healthcare worker, you may have a case. Likewise, if your exposure occurred while traveling for work or if a co-worker tests positive for COVID-19, you may also have a claim.
Many insurers in Texas are handling the Coronavirus workers’ compensation claims on a case-by-case basis. They must consider all factors to determine whether the exposure occurred in the scope of employment. Unfortunately, the more widespread the Coronavirus becomes, the more difficult this will be. It will become harder to prove that you contracted the illness on the job and not in the public. As such, if you cannot work because of a Coronavirus exposure, it is important to submit a claim immediately. Do not delay.
The Texas Department of Insurance created a web page to help answer questions for insurers as well as injured workers. It also outlines changes to the system during the pandemic. Some changes to the workers’ compensation system include:
- Benefits review conferences are only conducted over the telephone
- Upcoming Contested Case Hearings rescheduled
- If employees need to see a doctor as part of a designated doctor exam, they can reschedule their appointment due to precautionary measures related to COVID-19
- Injured employees can receive telemedicine and telehealth services as part of the Texas workers’ compensation system
As the Coronavirus continues to advance across the United States, workers who become ill may need someone on their side. It is uncertain how this global pandemic will affect workers’ compensation in states across the country. That is why it is best to have a workers’ comp lawyer fighting for you from the start.
Contact Our Austin Workers’ Comp Attorney Today
The Coronavirus outbreak is like nothing we have seen before. Trying to navigate through these uncharted waters means that workers may not get the benefits they need during this time. If you are unable to work because of the Coronavirus, are you able to collect workers’ compensation? At the Law Offices of Aaron Allison, we can help answer all of your questions. Our Austin workers’ comp attorney can help you get the benefits you deserve during this time. Call us today at (512) 474-8346 or fill out our confidential contact form. We offer free consultations and work on contingency fees. That means you only pay us when we win your case. Call us today.