While the complete clinical picture regarding the Covid 19 virus is not completely understood, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Washington State Department of Health (DOH), and other public health agencies are providing some information meant to answer questions regarding the new disease and workers’ compensation coverage. In most cases, exposure and/or contraction of COVID-19 is not considered to be an allowable, work-related condition. However, claims from health care providers, first responders and “essential” workers involving COVID-19 may be allowed in certain circumstances. Additionally, other exposure claims will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
L&I allows for treatment of COVID-19 when work activity has resulted in exposure to the virus. There needs to be documented work related exposure in these type of cases. Providers are being required to consider the following:
Was there an increased risk or greater likelihood of contracting the condition due to the worker’s occupation (such as a first responder, health care worker, or other “essential “workers)?
If not for their job, would the worker have been exposed to the virus or contracted the condition?
Can the worker identify a specific source or event during the performance of his or her employment that resulted in exposure to the new coronavirus (examples include a first responder or health care worker who has actually treated a patient with the virus)?
L&I may accept claims of health care workers, first responders, and other “essential” workers who are quarantined after COVID-19 exposure on the job. Other quarantine claims would be looked at on a case-by-case basis. Time-loss payments may be also be paid for lost wages during a quarantine period of up to 14 days. As with all time loss benefits under L&I, the first three days off work are not paid unless the worker is medically required to remain off work on the14th day following the Covid 19 exposure.
Note: Time loss and pension checks will not be reduced if you receive a federal stimulus check.
We can help you file your Covid 19 related L&I claim. Please feel free to contact us at 253-472-8566.