Governor Pritzker has extended the stay at home order for Illinois until the end of April. Many workers in Illinois are still required to show up to work as they are part of an essential job. Other workers may have already been exposed to the coronavirus in the workplace and are unable to work because of the effects of COVID-19. In some cases, workers who are sick or require medical treatment related to COVID-19 may be able to file a workers’ comp claim.
If you suffered a work-related illness involving the coronavirus and are unable to work, contact an experienced and local workers’ comp lawyer to help get benefits for your illness.
Illinois Workers’ Comp Claims
The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act is written to protect all employees in the State who are injured or become disabled on the job. The Act provides benefits to the employee including:
- – Payment from lost income when not able to work,
- – Payment of medical expenses, or
- – In some situations, a lump sum settlement.
If your job exposed you to the coronavirus and you became ill because of the virus, you may be able to file a workers’ comp claim. Generally, workers’ comp does not cover you if you are out of work because the job shuts down because of the outbreak or after government stay at home orders. Unemployment insurance would generally cover loss of income from being unable to work.
Workers’ comp coverage is related to injuries or illnesses attributed to the job. A mild reaction to coronavirus may not be enough to trigger workers’ comp. For example, getting exposed to coronavirus and developing flu-like symptoms for a few days may not be enough time or require medical treatment to get workers’ comp benefits.
A more serious illness or reaction to COVID-19 may be enough to get workers’ comp benefits if the worker requires medical care and hospitalization. However, the illness is relatively new and the State of Illinois may eventually release guidance on workers’ comp claims caused by COVID-19. In the meantime, you may want to talk to a workers’ comp lawyer to get your claim started.
Healthcare Workers and Front-Line Employees
Healthcare workers may have a stronger claim for workers’ comp if they develop a more serious reaction to coronavirus exposure. Employees who are working in health care may be regularly exposed to the coronavirus and have a greater risk of developing symptoms from repeated exposure. Grocery store employees and other workers in so-called essential jobs may also have a higher risk of exposure than the general public because of their job interacting with so many people on a day-to-day basis.
With the potential for so many claims against health care agencies, grocery store chains, and other front-line businesses, the employers and workers’ compensation insurance providers may challenge these claims to try to avoid a payout. The employers and insurance company may claim the illness is not work-related, the job did not increase the risk of injury, or the employee contracted the disease outside of work. This is where the experience of a workers’ comp lawyer can make a difference.
The insurance company and employer have lawyers on their side, it is only fair that you have an advocate on your side to fight for your rights. Talk to your workers’ comp attorney if you believe you suffered an illness related to your job and need medical treatment and wage replacement benefits.
Workers’ Comp Attorney in the Chicagoland area and Aurora
A workers’ comp claim related to coronavirus or COVID-19 may require medical treatment and take you off the job for days or weeks. If you suffered an illness or injury on the job in Aurora or the Chicagoland area and the employer denied your claim, contact the Cullotta Bravo Law Group today to schedule your free consultation.