Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Coronavirus? April 15, 2020 by Robbins Law, P.C. If you were exposed to and contracted COVID-19 during the course of your employment, you may be able to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits. Each state has its own Workers’ Compensation laws, and what you hear on the news can be confusing and my not apply to your state or your situation. During this rapidly evolving situation, the rules are in flux and subject to change at any time. To learn more about Workers’ Compensation, if you are eligible and what your alternatives may be, please talk to an experienced Georgia Worker’s Compensation attorney today. Occupational Diseases Workers’ Compensation covers occupational disease, but not ordinary illnesses that you may catch from your coworkers. To receive benefits, you must prove that contracting the disease was a direct result of your job, and that your job included hazards that put you at risk for the disease. As such healthcare workers and first responders are more likely to be found eligible. One state, Washington, has already changed its Workers’ Compensation policy to specific protect healthcare workers and first responders providing benefits during quarantine to those exposed to the virus, not just those who have been positively diagnosed. We have yet to see how other states, including Georgia, will address this new virus, the risk it poses to many types of workers, and whether essential workers whose jobs require them to be in constant contact with the public, such as grocery store employees, will also receive Workers’ Compensation protections. Another scenario in which you would be more likely to receive benefits is if there was a COVID-19 outbreak at your workplace. Coronavirus Lawsuits One of the purposes of Workers’ Compensation laws is to shield employers from lawsuits brought by workers who are injured or contract an occupational disease. In general, if you are eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits, and your employer carried the insurance required by law, you are not allowed to sue your employer for your injuries. However, there are some rare exceptions when negligence is extreme. If your employer refused to follow federal, state, or local guidelines or orders for preventing the spread of COVID-19, you may be able to sue for your illness. If you have contracted coronavirus through the curse of your work or if you have sustained another workplace injury, please call Robbins Law, PC, at 800-772-5555 or contact us online today and schedule your free consultation and find out if you are eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits.