When someone is injured or harmed while on the job, they are presumed to be entitled to workers’ compensation. When they are infected with an illness at work, however, it gets much more complicated. Most notably, workers’ compensation claims filed due to contraction of the coronavirus are often flat-out denied nationwide. People in North Carolina (as well as all around the country) may wonder how this could be.
Why Are So Many COVID-Related Workers’ Comp Claims Rejected?
Like any claim for an illness caught onsite, workers who seek compensation for COVID would have to put up a fight. With the ambiguity surrounding where and when a person was exposed to the virus on their employer’s premises, a workers’ compensation claim for COVID-related injuries or losses can be difficult.
Employers and insurance companies alike agree that employees can’t prove that they have been exposed to the viral disease on company premises — whether directly or indirectly. Even employees deemed “essential,” who have been on the front lines since the onset of the pandemic, enter a realm of complexities when attempting to file for benefits due to illness. This ultimately results in rejection, lost wages, and even medical bills that do not qualify for compensation.
Are COVID-19 Related Workers’ Comp Claims Covered in NC?
As outlined in the North Carolina Industrial Commission, “all workers’ compensation claims are decided by applying the facts of the particular case to North Carolina law. The employee bears the burden of establishing all necessary legal requirements of the claim.”
To file an occupational disease claim for COVID-19 under the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act, an employee must show:
- That their employment exposed them to greater risk of contracting the disease than the general public
- That their employment caused them to contract the disease.
Once you have gathered all possible evidence of your COVID-19 contraction on company grounds, you must file a workers’ compensation claim by filling out a Form 18, found here, and submit it to the Industrial Commission.
We Will Put You First
Making a case for a COVID-related workers’ compensation is a difficult feat with many obstacles, but our team at Henson Fuerst Attorneys will take on the challenge. If you or a loved one has been infected with COVID-19 on the job and suffered significant losses as a result, you may be entitled to compensation. Call our office toll-free at 919-781-1107 or submit a web inquiry form on our website today for a free consultation of your case.