Workers’ Compensation Insurance
In instances where an employee believes they contracted COVID-19 at work, a number of workers’ compensation considerations come into play. As with many topics in workers’ compensation, the answer is, “it depends”—the specific facts of a claim, as well as jurisdictional statues, determine compensability. As the situation in the United States evolves, the compensability of a COVID-19 claim may or may not change. Notably, when it comes to workplace illnesses, most state statues only pay out benefits if the disease in question is occupational in nature. That is to say that communicable and contagious diseases are generally excluded from workers’ compensation policies.
However, coverage may be triggered if the illness arose due to or in the course of the worker’s employment. In general, these scenarios are examined on a case-by-case basis, but could include instances when:
- A health care worker contracts COVID-19 at the hospital at which they work.
- An airline employee contracts COVID-19 from a passenger.
- A hospitality worker contracts COVID-19, which is later linked to a large event at which they worked.
Any workers compensation coverage available would be dependent on the circumstances involved.