The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC) recently issued an emergency amendment making first responders and essential front-line workers eligible for workers’ compensation if they contract COVID-19. Under the new amendment, which is in effect beginning April 16 and extends until the governor’s emergency order is lifted, any first responder or front-line worker who is diagnosed with COVID-19 will be presumed to have contracted the virus due to work-related duties. As such, eligible workers who test positive for COVID-19 will be eligible to file for workers’ compensation to cover their medical costs and lost wages as a result of self-quarantining and/or taking time off work to receive treatment.
This is good news for first responders, health care workers, and other employees on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic who continually put themselves at risk in order to care for the needs of others. If you or someone you love contracted COVID-19 on the job as a first responder or essential front-line worker, contact Sam C. Mitchell & Associates for help filing your workers’ compensation claim. We have extensive experience in this particular area of law and can help you navigate the workers’ compensation system.
Who Is Considered a First Responder/Essential Front-Line Worker?
The WCC’s emergency amendment is very specific in regards to who is covered by the emergency amendment.
According to the amendment, “first responders” and “essential front-line workers” include:
- Police officers/personnel
- Emergency medical technicians
- Health care workers providing patient care
- Corrections officers
Others considered to be “first responders” and “essential front-line workers” include any individual who is employed as and considered to be a first responder, as well as other critical personnel as defined by Executive Order 2020-10 (March 20, 2020).
Am I Guaranteed Workers’ Compensation If I Get COVID-19?
While the emergency amendment states that any first responder or essential front-line worker (as defined by the order) who contracts COVID-19 is presumed to have done so in direct connection with his or her work, this does not mean that an affected individual will automatically receive workers’ compensation benefits. In order to begin receiving benefits, individuals will need to meet all other eligibility requirements, as outlined by Illinois workers’ compensation law.
Contact a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer for Help with Your Claim
At Sam C. Mitchell & Associates, we stand ready to assist first responders and other essential workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis. If you have symptoms of the coronavirus and are seeking testing/treatment, or if you have already received a positive diagnosis, contact our firm for help with your workers’ compensation claim. Though causality is assumed, actually securing your benefits may not be a simple task. Our workers’ compensation lawyers can help ensure that all your paperwork is correctly filled out and filed according to mandatory timelines so as to help avoid unnecessary delays and/or issues with your claim.
Contact our firm today to speak to an attorney about your claim for free.