Across virtually every sector of society, the impact of the growing Coronavirus pandemic may be felt. The effects of this virus and event may last for some time to come, especially for any person who becomes unable to work after contracting COVID-19, the diseased caused by Coronavirus.
To date, there has been a bit of discussion about whether or not workers’ compensation has a place in this situation. Given that each state has its own workers’ compensation program, the approach taken may vary greatly from state to state. So far, very few states have issued any directives or provided any indication as to how they will address this issue. Washington State, however, has done so. As one of the first states to grapple with the outbreak and to record several fatalities caused by COVID-19, the Evergreen State has made it clear that select professionals may be able to receive workers’ compensation for Coronavirus-related issues.
The Insurance Journal reported that the Governor of Washington State indicated that, in conjunction with the state’s Department of Labor and Industries, they are making available workers’ compensation benefits to emergency personnel and those in the health care field who have been exposed to Coronavirus.
The ability to seek workers’ compensation benefits by these individuals will not require any proof that an illness was caused by their line of work, but instead they will only need to show that they were exposed to the virus in their work environment. The program may provide lost income benefits and benefits to cover the cost of testing and any required treatment.