Yes, you can file a COVID-19 workers’ comp claim in Pennsylvania! Unfortunately, the coronavirus is taking a huge toll on our community. But, you may be able to receive workers’ comp benefits if you get the COVID-19 coronavirus at work. These claims will be very tricky, so make sure you have an experienced Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney on your side.
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What benefits do I get for my COVID-19 workers’ comp claim in Pennsylvania?
Our Workers’ Compensation page explains the types of benefits you can receive from workers’ comp in Pennsylvania. If you contract COVID-19 from work in Pennsylvania, you may be eligible for these benefits. The benefits can include:
- Compensation for your lost wages if your injury causes you to miss time from work
- Coverage for your medical bills that are related to your work injury
- A separate payment if you lost a limb, your sight or hearing, or have scars on your head, face or neck
- Payment to your surviving family members if your work injury results in death
COVID-19 is an occupational disease. Importantly, occupational diseases can be considered work injuries. These are different from injures like spraining your back or fracturing your arm. Instead, exposure to some type of substance, virus, or bacteria while working typically causes these injuries.
How do I prove my COVID-19 workers’ comp claim in Pennsylvania?
Proving your COVID-19 workers’ comp claim in Pennsylvania is complicated. To start, the Pennsylvania Occupational Disease Act specifically acknowledges certain conditions as work-related injuries. Some of these include:
- For those who have direct contact with coal dust, pneumoconiosis and silicosis
- Conditions like lead and mercury poisoning for those who have direct contact with those substances
- Firemen who have been in service for at least 4 years have claims for heart and lung disease
- For nurses and other related medical professionals, tuberculosis and hepatitis
Obviously, the COVID-19 coronavirus is not on this list of diseases. Therefore, proving that your disease is work-related requires you to meet certain criteria. Generally, these requirements are:
- Your employment caused your exposure to the COVID-19 coronavirus
- Contracting the COVID-19 coronavirus occurred due to your exposure at work
- The COVID-19 coronavirus occurs much more in your industry than it does in the general population
As a result, it is important that you have an experienced workers’ comp attorney to help prove your claim. The experienced attorneys at Kitay Law Offices can provide a free consultation. Therefore, contact us online or at 888-KITAYLAW.
What if the insurance company denies my claim?
It can be difficult to prove how you got the COVID-19 coronavirus. As such, we expect workers’ comp will deny most claims. So, you will need an attorney’s help to fight for your benefits in court.
While fighting for your workers’ comp benefits, you may be without any source of income. Fortunately, some helpful resources are available during these tough times. These resources may include:
- Unemployment benefits. Plus, you can learn much more about Collecting Unemployment and Workers’ Compensation in Pennsylvania by reading our blog article.
- Additional unemployment benefits under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). This provides for an additional $600/week in unemployment benefits in addition to the regular unemployment payments. Further, independent contractors and the self-employed may be eligible even if they are not normally able to claim unemployment.
- New federal benefits from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Generally, this new law provides up to two weeks of paid leave if:
- You are unable to work because of a government COVID-19 stay at home order
- You must stay home from work to care for someone due to a government COVID-19 stay at home order
- This also applies to childcare
Because of this extra support, don’t hesitate to file your COVID-19 workers’ comp claim in Pennsylvania. Even so, make sure you have an experienced workers’ comp attorney in Pennsylvania fighting for your rights.
How do I get benefits for my COVID-19 workers’ comp claim in Pennsylvania?
To get benefits for your COVID-19 workers’ comp claim in Pennsylvania, you have to follow the law. The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act provides the process you must follow. For lots of detail about How to File and Get Workers’ Comp Benefits in Pennsylvania, read our article. Briefly, the process requires you to do the following:
- Notify your employer of your injury or disease within 120 days. Obviously, the sooner the better.
- Once reported, workers’ comp gets 21 days to decide whether to accept or deny your claim.
- Workers’ comp may want you to see the doctors on your employer’s list for the first 90 days after you report the injury or disease.
- If your claim is denied, you must file a petition to put your case into the court process.
The workers comp court system in Pennsylvania is very complicated and can take several months for a result. The process of fighting for your workers’ comp benefits in court is called “litigation.” Importantly, you can review our complete Workers’ Compensation Litigation Timeline. In addition, you can download a quick reference guide.
Do I have any other cases?
Yes, it is possible you have additional claims besides your COVID-19 workers’ comp claim in Pennsylvania. More specifically, you may have a claim for violation of Employment Law. We have a complete COVID-19 Employment Law Review for Pennsylvania you can read. Importantly, you may have an Employment Law claim if:
- You are fired for missing work due to COVID-19
- A medical condition increases your risk of getting the COVID-19 coronavirus and you employer fires you or sends you home
- You are over 40 and get fired, because your employer thinks your age puts you at risk for contracting the COVID-19 coronavirus
- If you need to stay home to care of a family member who has COVID-19 and your employer fires you
- Your employer is not taking appropriate steps to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus
If any of these situations applies to you, make sure you contact an experienced attorney immediately. These are very complicated issues and you don’t want to go it alone. Further, things will get even more complicated as businesses start trying to get back to normal once restrictions are lifted.
How to File a COVID-19 Workers’ Comp Claim
The experienced attorneys at Kitay Law Offices are ready to help fight for your rights. Remember, contact us immediately to file a COVID-19 workers’ comp claim in Pennsylvania. There are additional resources available to help you during this difficult time, so don’t delay fighting for your benefits. You can contact us online or at 888-KITAYLAW for a free consultation.