Many employees are pondering whether they are eligible for workers’ compensation payments for catching the virus because of their jobs as the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the nation with new strains and rises in the number of positive cases. The COVID-19 workers’ compensation coverage varies by state, as well as by industry and vocation. What you need to know about COVID-19 and workers’ compensation insurance in Colorado in 2023 is provided here.
Can you receive Colorado workers’ compensation benefits for COVID-19?
Yeah, under specific conditions. Colds and flu are common ailments that are difficult to directly link to the workplace, therefore workers’ compensation insurance typically does not cover them. However, there are exclusions in the case of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the coronavirus, many jobs that were not previously regarded as sickness risks, such grocery stores and restaurants, are now risky for employees. Many jurisdictions have changed their legislation to permit workers’ compensation to cover a COVID-19 infection as a result of more dangerous working conditions brought on by the virus.
Yet, there haven’t been any modifications of this nature in Colorado. SB20-216 was the only proposed bill that addressed COVID-19 and workers’ compensation, however it was not supported by enough sponsors to become law. This measure would have permitted necessary workers who worked outside the house, including health care providers, to make claims for workers’ compensation if they developed COVID-19 and the infection was thought to have occurred during employment. There is currently no such provision in Colorado’s workers’ compensation legislation because the bill was unsuccessful.
This does not imply that you will not be eligible for workers’ compensation payments if you test positive or are given a COVID-19 diagnosis as a result of your employment. The Colorado Workers’ Compensation Act’s definition of an occupational disease, Section 8-40-201, will technically be met if the illness was a direct result of your employment or the working environment in which you did your job. So, if the conditions are right, COVID-19 can render you eligible for workers’ compensation.
Should I file a COVID-19 work comp claim in Colorado?
If you have documentation linking your employment to your COVID-19 infection and want to file a workers’ compensation claim, talk to your employer. In general, you should only file this kind of claim if your condition forced you to miss work or incurred expenses.
In order to file a workers’ compensation claim in Colorado, you must adhere to all legal requirements, which include notifying your employer in writing of your condition no later than four days after diagnosis and seeking treatment from a physician on your employer’s approved provider list. If the insurance provider rejects your claim, speak to a lawyer about a potential appeal.
Can you qualify for workers’ comp payments if you work from home due to the pandemic?
Possibly. The Colorado workers’ compensation policy does not make a distinction between remote workers and office workers. As long as they are both employees and not independent contractors, they are both eligible for workers’ compensation payments. As a remote worker, it could be more challenging to qualify for workers’ compensation since you might not be able to demonstrate that you caught COVID-19 while working and not while you were off-duty.
Can your employer fire you for filing a work compensation covid-19 claim in Colorado?
No. Your employer may not terminate your job in retaliation for you submitting a COVID-19 workers’ compensation claim. But, if your employer has a legitimate basis for doing so, such as a financial crunch or reorganization, they are allowed to fire you. Make an appointment with a lawyer to discuss a potential wrongful termination lawsuit if you believe that your employer fired you because you submitted a workers’ compensation claim.
In Colorado, it can be challenging to navigate a COVID-19 workers’ compensation claim. For assistance with this kind of lawsuit, contact a Denver workers’ compensation attorney at Front Range Injury Attorneys.