In New York, the coronavirus pandemic hit everyone pretty hard. For many workers, they have been out for weeks, even months after they contracted the coronavirus. Some were unable to return to work for the foreseeable future.
In New York can you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits if you’ve had covid-19? If so, what do you have to show to secure payments?
Workers’ Compensation Provides Benefits for Occupational Disease
In New York just like all the other states, you can pursue workers’ comp benefits if you have been exposed to or contracted an illness. You do have to show that your exposure was work-related. The definition of “work-related” can include:
- Exposure during regularly scheduled work breaks
- Exposure during meal breaks, but you would have to show you stayed on company premises
- Exposure during travel for work (excluding your commute or any side trips for primarily personal reasons)
- Exposure during a company event
A list of those conditions is maintained by the New York Workers’ Compensation Board that have been identified as “occupational diseases”. At this time the novel coronavirus has not been designated as an occupational illness. The burden of having to prove the exposure to the virus was through employment shifts to the employee. It can be challenging to trace the source of the covid-19. Especially since there is much we are still learning about the virus and how it can be transmitted.
There have been recent New York workers’ compensation decisions that have found that if there is a commonness of Covid-19 infections at the workplace, then a presumption may be found in favor of the employee.
Officials with the Workers’ Compensation Board say that as of late, more than 12,000 covid-related workers’ comp claims have been filed in New York. More than half of those claims have not been resolved, and only around 10 have been denied outright with over 5,000 workers receiving benefits voluntarily from workers’ comp insurance companies.
Experienced Syracuse New York Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
At McMahon Kublic, PC, we handle all matters related to Workers’ Compensation for people in Syracuse, and across the Upstate New York area. Because of our reputation, many of our new clients come to us as referrals from clients and other lawyers.