What to Expect As a COVID-19 Injured Worker
As the COVID-19 pandemic has taken the country by storm, the virus has caused the illnesses and untimely deaths of hundreds of workers in the State of California. As time progresses, more and more people return to work, and understandably, many workers are concerned with the possibility of contracting the virus.
Recently, the State of California Governor signed an executive order that will make it easier for people who have contracted COVID-19 while at work to obtain workers’ compensation benefits.
The Executive Order Signed By Governor Newsom
On May 6th, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced the enactment of an executive order that would allow workers who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 the opportunity to seek workers’ compensation benefits. The executive order made the rebuttable presumption that workers who do not work out of their homes, and have contracted the virus, have been exposed to the virus while at work. Before this executive order was set in place, workers in the State of California had the obligation to prove that they contracted the illness while performing a job duty. Once this order was enacted, however, the burden was now placed onto employers, who were now tasked with having to prove that the worker contracted the illness outside of work.
The executive order provides workers who have been working since March 19th, 2020 with the rebuttable presumption that they have fallen ill from COVID-19 while working. As of March 19th, 2020, the state issued a statewide stay-at-home order, where only essential workers continued to work. For these essential workers, the executive order will allow them the opportunity to seek workers’ compensation benefits when contracting COVID-19.
The rebuttable presumption is available to workers who have contracted the virus within 14 days of performing a job-related duty between the dates of March 19th, 2020 and 60 days after the order was signed.
The Executive Order Has Streamlined the Workers’ Compensation Process
Under Governor Newsom’s executive order, workers who have been infected with COVID-19 can obtain workers’ compensation benefits much faster. Prior to the executive order, an employer’s insurance carrier had 90 days to investigate a claim. Now, an insurance carrier will only have 30 days to accept or deny a workers’ compensation claim.
Additionally, the executive order has now eliminated the waiting period to receive temporary disability benefits. This means that a worker who is not working, and has no sick leave benefits, his or her temporary disability benefits will begin being paid as soon as the worker has been diagnosed with contracting the virus by a licensed medical professional.
Obtain Proficient Legal Counsel Following a Positive COVID-19 Diagnosis
The novel coronavirus pandemic is a very challenging crisis that is affecting thousands of people every day. In effort to help frontline workers who have contracted the virus, California Governor Newsom has enacted an executive order set to provide workers’ compensation benefits to those in need. Time restrictions have been placed on the ability to obtain workers’ compensation benefits without the need to prove that the virus was contracted while at work. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with COVID-19, speak to an experienced attorney who can help maximize the benefits available.
Attorney Scot T. Moga is highly regarded in the field of workers’ compensation benefits. With more than 20 years of dedicated experience, Attorney Moga has helped hundreds of injured workers obtain the compensation they deserved. Consider contacting Attorney Scot T. Moga today for a no-obligation consultation.