Workers’ Compensation is Being Denied Nationwide for COVID-19
Many people are considered to be essential employees and have been working throughout some or all of the COVID-19 pandemic. The inability to shelter in place with everyone else means that these employees are constantly at risk of being exposed and contracting the coronavirus. If they contracted COVID-19 at work, you might assume that workers’ compensation insurance would cover their losses. However, workers’ compensation claims are being widely denied if the claim stems from COVID-19. Many insurance companies are stating there is no proof of where the exposure occurred, so there is no way to prove this was a work-related condition. This is leaving employees who risked their health with lost wages and a possible pile of medical bills. Claim denials have been a trend across the country. Consider the following reported numbers:
- Of 5,030 claims, at least 734 have been denied, and 370 were healthcare workers
- In Florida, 1,695 claims were denied out of 3,807, and 521 were healthcare workers
These are only some examples, as this pattern of denials is happening in almost every state.
COVID-19 and Workers’ Compensation in Missouri
Missouri is one of the states that passed an emergency workers’ compensation rule addressing claims arising from possible exposure at work. Normally, an injured worker would need to prove that their injury stemmed from their employment. However, Missouri’s emergency rule created the presumption that exposure happened at work, but only for first responders. Everyone else still has the burden of proof that their exposure occurred during work. Because you can be exposed to COVID-19 almost anywhere, including by your own family members at home, proving the exposure took place at work can be a challenging task. This is the main reason why claims are being denied so regularly - that employees cannot meet their burden of proof. If you contracted COVID-19, you will miss work - and possibly for longer than two weeks. This can mean you lose wages, which can add up quickly. If you required medical care, you were likely treated in the emergency room or hospital, and those bills will be costly. One man who survived was left with a $1.1 million hospital bill, so the costs of treatment can be almost unimaginable. Because of these extensive losses, it is always important to have a workers’ compensation attorney in Missouri review whether you might have a workers’ compensation claim for COVID-19.
Let a Missouri Workers’ Compensation Attorney Evaluate Your Rights
At the law firm of The Law Firm of Webster & Carlton, we take on complex and challenging workers’ compensation cases, including those for workers who had COVID-19. We can assess whether you have proof of your job-related exposure to have your claim granted. This has been a harsh year for many people, and you want someone who will stand up for your rights to benefits. Contact us to schedule a consultation with our legal team in either Springfield or Joplin today. We are ready to help workers who contracted COVID-19 at work.