My name is Michael Burgis. I’m a trial attorney. I’m also a legal certified specialist in California worker’s compensation and I’ve gotten a lot of calls recently with questions regarding the coronavirus and the current pandemic. What happens if I get it? Am I entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits? The short answer to this: YES.
If you can show that you contracted Coronavirus, or any illness, within the course of your employment, then you are entitled to Workers’ Comp Benefits. You have to show the causation or the burden is reasonable medical probability, which means more likely than not. Now, ultimately Workers’ Comp benefits are Short Term Benefits. They get you Medical Treatment, Temporary Disability, which is 2/3 (about 66%) of your salary while you’re off of work, and then they pay compensation for Permanent Disability and future medical expenses. For the vast majority of these Coronavirus cases, it looks like everyone has a full recovery, so I don’t necessarily think filing a Workers’ Comp Claim is the right course of action, as it’s hopefully just a temporary ailment.
If you’ve contracted Coronavirus and you believe that you contracted it through the course and scope of your employment, like you’re a nurse, you’re a doctor, you’re a police or firefighter, and you can prove that you’d contracted this through your job and you have significant injuries, such as hospitalization, a type of injury that you do not have a full recovery, or the worst case scenario, a death case, you should absolutely speak to an attorney. You or your loved one or your dependent may very well be entitled to compensation under Workers’ Compensation, so long as once again you can show that you contracted the virus within the course of your employment and that you’ve sustained permanent disability, or once again unfortunately a death case.
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