Our Michigan worker’s compensation lawyers are helping workers diagnosed with Covid-19, more specifically coronavirus.
Workers diagnosed with the virus may be able to get work comp benefits.
Many workers are risking their own personal health and safety by continuing to work during the pandemic. Many employees are required to work while others need to work.
And, there is a whole set of employees who are either volunteering or working simply to help the community.
In general, diseases unrelated to a job generally do not trigger a workers’ compensation claim.
However, if the disease was caused or made worse from employment then it likely qualifies for benefits. This is particular important for workers sickened during the Corona virus pandemic.
- Michigan law for coronavirus workers’ compensation cases
- Jobs that qualify for workers’ compensation benefits
- Service industry workers qualify for workers’ compensation
- What to do if diagnosed with coronavirus at work
Michigan Law for Coronavirus Workers’ Compensation Cases
Several Michigan court decisions have addressed the issue. The most favorable case for the injured worker was Gacioch v Stroh Brewery Co., 187 Mich 260 (1990).
In that case, the Court of Appeals ruled that “whether this disease was an occupational disease or an ordinary disease of life is irrelevant if the disease was aggravated, accelerated, or contributed to the by the employment, thereby resulting in disability.”
A 2011 Amendment to the Michigan Workers Compensation Act expressly made occupational diseases compensable where work caused, aggravate, or contributed to medically distinguishable pathology.
This means that a someone who contracts the Coronavirus due to workplace exposure likely qualifies for work loss benefits.
What Type of Jobs Qualify for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Most any job that exposes a worker to the virus qualifies for work comp benefits. However, the government set out a specific list of workers that are presumed to be eligible for benefits.
Under Governor Whitmer’s Emergency Administrative Rules revised on March 30, 2020, the following workers diagnosed with Covid-19 are presumed to have been injured on the job. These are workers with the following jobs and positions:
- Ambulance or emergency care, including EMT
- County medical facilities
- Homes for the aged
- Nursing homes
- Home health agencies
- Visiting nurse associations
- Physicians & Physician Assistants
- Respiratory therapists
- Police officers & Firefighters
- Civil defense workers
- Corrections officers
Can Service Industry Workers File for Workers Compensation?
Yes. The list above is not all-inclusive, but those individuals are presumed to have contracted the virus from job-related activities. That does not mean that all other employees are excluded.
For example, thousands of service industry workers have been diagnosed with the coronavirus from exposure in the workplace. These include:
- Restaurant workers
- Retail store employees
- Mail carriers
- Delivery personal
- All persons exposed to the public through their job
What Benefits are Available to Sick Workers?
The same benefits apply as in all workers compensation claims. These include payment of medical bills, lost wages, and vocational rehabilitation.
If a worker dies from workplace coronavirus disease, the surviving family members can receive death benefits.
What Should I Do if I was Diagnosed with Coronavirus at Work?
You can only pursue a claim if you have been diagnosed with Covid-19.
If you believe you contracted the virus due to your occupational exposure, you should file a workers’ compensation claim with your employer. This will start the process.
Do I Need to Hire a Michigan Work Comp Lawyer?
If you submit your claim and the insurance company agrees to pay your claims, you do not need a lawyer. However, you should not be surprised if your claim is delayed or denied.
If your claim is denied, you will need the help of an experienced job injury attorney on your side.
In any event, you would be smart to call a lawyer at our office even if you are considering filing a comp claim.
There could be specific claims you must make in order to qualify.
Contact Our Michigan Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
If you or someone you care about is missing work due to the coronavirus disease, call our lawyers today to see if you qualify can make a worker’s compensation claim.
The legal advice is free and there is absolutely no obligation on your part.
We are friendly and eager to help you and your family through this terrible pandemic crisis.
Contact us now to start your case.
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Ann Arbor, MI 48104
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Shelby Township, MI 48316
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