If an Indiana worker contracts the Coronavirus (COVID-19) while working, is he or she eligible for worker’s compensation benefits?

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Do you think you contracted the Coronavirus while working? Are you wondering about your eligibility to make a worker’s compensation claim?

When one contracts an illness in the course and scope of employment, they may be eligible for an occupational disease claim. An occupational disease means a disease arising out of and in the course of employment. Ordinary diseases of life to which the general public is exposed outside of employment are not covered by the workers’ compensation law except where the disease follows an incident of occupational exposure.

In other words, a disease arises out of one’s employment if there is a causal connection between the disease and the work performed. It may be difficult for a worker to prove to a hearing member that he or she received the disease at work rather than from the community at large. However, if there was an outbreak at your place or employment, or your employer failed to put proper safety protocols in place, there may be a causal relationship between your contracting the virus and your working. Health care workers, first responders, and service industry workers may have an easier time proving the causal relationship between their work and contracting the Coronavirus (Covid-19).

The benefits under the Occupational Disease Act are the same as under the worker’s compensation laws in Indiana.  If you have any questions regarding your entitlement or eligibility for occupational disease benefits due to an unfortunate COVID-19 exposure, please call Klezmer Maudlin.