When it comes to workers’ compensation benefits during the COVID-19 outbreak, there are many different questions and concerns brought up by employees. The following are some questions that you might have regarding how workers’ compensation might be impacted by coronavirus in New Jersey.
Will I get workers’ compensation if my employer shuts down due to state orders or general safety concerns?
If your company halts operations due to stay-at-home orders or to prevent illness among employees, workers’ compensation benefits will likely not apply. This is because the shutdown is not related to specific job-related injuries or illnesses but, instead, to prevent such illness. This reason for missing work would not qualify for workers’ compensation.
Am I entitled to workers’ comp benefits if my employer sends me home due to possible exposure at work?
If your boss learns that a coworker has tested positive for COVID-19, and you had exposure to that coworker, your employer might send you home for a 14-day quarantine in case you contracted the virus. This likely would be covered by workers’ compensation since your absence is the direct result of illness exposure at work. Filing this type of claim can be complicated, so you want to seek the help of an experienced New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer.
If I am receiving benefits for a previous work-related injury, will those be interrupted?
Many people were injured at work in recent months and might still be recovering from their injuries while receiving workers’ compensation benefits for medical treatment and wage replacement. In this situation, it is natural to worry whether your benefits will continue if your employer temporarily shuts down.
The COVID-19 crisis should not mean that your benefits stop, especially for the medical treatment you are still receiving. However, some employers might argue that since the company is closed, you would not be earning wages during this time anyway, so you should not receive wage replacement benefits. However, if you are unable to work at any job due to your injuries, your temporary disability benefits should continue, and you want the right lawyer arguing for those benefits.
Can you file a workers’ compensation claim if you contract the coronavirus?
Many people who contract COVID-19 suspect they might have been exposed at work, so they might want to claim that this is a work-related illness for the purposes of workers’ compensation. However, due to the nature of the virus and how easily it is passed from person to person, there is little way to prove that your exposure happened at work. Unless you have definitive proof that you contracted the virus at work and not elsewhere, this type of workers’ compensation claim is unlikely to be successful.
Consult with a Freehold NJ Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
If you have questions about workers’ comp benefits in the age of COVID-19, do not hesitate to speak with a Freehold workers’ compensation lawyer at Lomurro Law. Call 732-482-9285 or contact us online to consult with a member of our legal team.