What You Need to Know About COVID-19 and Workers’ Compensation
COVID-19

Workers’ compensation is intended to provide benefits for employees who suffer a workplace injury or contract an occupational illness. With many workers in North Carolina facing exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace, some are wondering if they could be entitled to workers’ comp benefits if they fall ill.

If you have been exposed to COVID-19 while on the job in North Carolina, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can analyze your situation and discuss which benefits you might be entitled to. At Teddy, Meekins & Talbert, our knowledgeable occupational illness lawyers are committed to lifting the burden off your shoulders during this challenging time. Our attorneys can negotiate with your employer and the workers’ comp insurance company on your behalf to demand full compensation.

Teddy, Meekins & Talbert is dedicated to protecting the rights of workers who have contacted COVID-19 or have been injured while on the job. Allow us to fight for the benefits you deserve. Call Teddy, Meekins & Talbert today to set up a free initial consultation so we can discuss your case and options.

Workers’ Compensation for Occupational Illness for Covid-19

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), coronavirus symptoms may manifest 2-14 days after you have been exposed. It’s important to remember to wash your hands frequently and practice social distancing and wear a mask when necessary. Be sure to stay home if you are feeling sick.

Most businesses in North Carolina are required to have workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. Workers’ compensation is no-fault insurance, which means that an injured or sick employee may be entitled to benefits regardless of whether the employer or the worker did anything wrong.

Workers’ comp pays medical benefits and a portion of lost wages to workers who have been unable to work due to an injury or disease contracted on the job. Workers’ comp benefits include reimbursement for all medical bills, including medications, hospitalization, rehabilitation, and more.

Eligibility for Workers’ Compensation for COVID-19

To be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in North Carolina, the sick employee will have to show that:

  • COVID-19 is identified as an occupational disease; or
  • COVID-19 was contracted from exposure at the job or while performing job duties.
  • The worker was at greater risk than the public of contracting COVID-19 because of their job duties

An experienced North Carolina workers’ comp attorney can help you establish that your employment put you at higher risk for COVID-19.If you contract coronavirus while at work in North Carolina, immediately notify your employer of the illness. Then you need to file a Form 18 with the North Carolina Industrial Commission. You should also give written notice of the claim to your employer. It is required by law that you send them a copy of the completed form.

If your workers’ comp is approved, your employer’s workers’ comp insurer will pay for your medical treatment related to the illness, as well as your time-loss benefits. Your employer may also need to take steps to help you get back to work, when needed.

Workers’ Compensation for Injuries or Illnesses Contracted While Working From Home

Many employees across North Carolina have begun working from home if the nature of their work allows it. This shift from offices to homes underscores questions about how workers’ compensation applies when an employee suffers an injury or contracts an illness while on the job working at a home office.

Workers are not exempt from workers’ comp benefits because they are not physically at a workplace. Remote workers may also have a claim to benefits if they contract a disease or suffer an injury. Even though the employer cannot control the remote worker’s conditions at their home, courts have determined that the employers still have a duty to provide safe working environments.

If you were injured while working from home, you may still be eligible for workers’ comp benefits. The North Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys at Teddy, Meekins & Talbert can guide you through the process of filing a claim while you recover from your workplace illness or injury.

Contact a Workers’ Comp Lawyer Today for Help

Teddy, Meekins & Talbert continues to closely monitor the coronavirus pandemic in North Carolina. We will continue to serve our clients who were injured or contracted a disease while at work.

Our skilled and compassionate workers’ compensation attorneys are committed to helping clients. If you were injured or contracted COVID-19 or another disease while at work in North Carolina, call us today for a free claim review.

Ralph Meekins

A native North Carolinian and a fourth-generation lawyer, Ralph W. Meekins literally had the desire to help those who are not able to help themselves as well as to be a practical life adviser to people in his blood.