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Can Illinois Essential Employees Receive Workers’ Comp for COVID-19?

 Posted on April 15, 2020 in Workers' Compensation

Arlington Heights workplace illness attorney coronavirus

Among the ongoing developments surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, some good news has emerged for all essential employees in the state of Illinois who are concerned about being exposed to and potentially contracting coronavirus while on the job. Thanks to recent changes in the state's workers’ compensation policies, any essential employee who contracts the virus from the workplace will be covered, based solely on his or her word. This means that workers will not be required to furnish proof that the illness came from the workplace, as they typically would under normal circumstances. 

Recent Changes to Workers’ Compensation Policies

This change in policy at the very least offers essential workers some assurance that should they contract the disease while putting their lives on the line in the service of others, their illness will be taken seriously, and they will have special rights regarding workers’ compensation. If you are an essential worker, and you contract COVID-19 on the job, here is some important information regarding filing a claim:

  • You are required by law to be offered workers’ compensation insurance.

  • Your illness claim will be considered an honest claim, even if you cannot provide proof that you contracted the virus during the course of your job.

  • Workers covered fall into the following “essential” categories: All first responders and front-line workers, including police and firemen, corrections officers, and anyone in healthcare settings. Postal workers and grocery store staff, as well as various food producers, are also considered essential employees.

  • This new policy ruling may last as long as 150 days.

  • Those who qualify for insurance benefits may be entitled to an array of benefits, such as disability benefits, coverage for medical expenses, and in some cases, compensation that amounts to two-thirds of their salary.

  • Some essential workers are still not covered yet, such as those who work in the media industry. However, the state may consider expanding the list to include these workers. You should speak with a workers’ compensation attorney to confirm whether or not you qualify for benefits under the new amendment.

Contact an Arlington Heights Workers’ Compensation Attorney

During this unprecedented time in our nation’s history, your health and well-being as an essential employee are more valuable than ever. If you fear you have been exposed to COVID-19, or if you have recently been diagnosed with an infection due to your attendance at work, it is critical that you speak with a dedicated, knowledgeable Palatine workplace injury lawyer right away. Newland & Newland LLP will work hard to ensure your rights are protected by the promises declared under the recent state law amendments. Call us today at 847-797-8000 to schedule a free consultation.




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