COVID-19 and Workers Compensation In Brooklyn, NY
As New York and country grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic that has infected more than one million people in the U.S. and killed just under 100,000 (as of this writing), there are an endless amount of factors that need to be dealt with, especially with all the stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines put in place. One of the most significant changes that have taken place during this time is employment issues. Many people are working at home but there are also millions of workers who are deemed essential workers who continue to be exposed every day to the virus. How all of this affects workers’ compensation claims and benefits will prove to be challenging over the next several months and workers who may qualify for benefits because of pandemic-related illnesses – as well as other injuries and health conditions – should consult with attorneys who specialize in – COVID-19 and workers compensation in Brooklyn, NY.
According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the federal agency that oversees worker safety regulations, COVID-19 is recognized as an occupational illness if the worker became infected as a result of doing their job duties. This means that employers have are required to record these incidents, just as they are required to record other job-related injuries and illnesses.
However, just as an attorney who handles COVID-19 and workers compensation cases in Brooklyn, NY can explain, it is not uncommon for an employer and/or their insurance company to dispute an employee’s filing for workers’ compensation, especially for occupational illnesses. In order to qualify for workers’ compensation, an occupational illness occurred because:
- The employee was exposed to the illness at their job
- The employee was exposed to the illness while performing duties that were part of their job description/requirements
- The employee’s exposure to the illness if found almost exclusively at their job (i.e. asbestos exposure)
It is the last factor that can make Brooklyn, NY COVID-19 and workers compensation claims difficult to prove since the virus is so contagious. Many frontline workers, such as emergency responders, health care workers, and transportation workers, have a higher risk of exposure since they are being exposed to people who are infected consistently while they are working. As the country begins to open up and companies open their doors again, non-essential employees will be returning to work and the question still remains to be answered is just how will this returning back to “normal” affect the spread of the virus.
We Have the Answers to Your Questions
The pandemic has raised many questions about how COVID-19 and workers compensation in Brooklyn, NY and the rest of the state will be addressed. The legal team at Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, P.C. is here to answer all of your questions and help you get the benefits you may be entitled to. Call our office today.