COVID-19 & Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Minnesota
Did you contract COVID-19 while at work? Are you a nurse, firefighter, EMT or other healthcare provider? Are you a childcare provider who’s required to work under Executive Order 20-02 or Executive Order 20-19? Then you may be able to take advantage of a law recently passed by the Minnesota Legislature that aims to make it easier for you to get workers’ compensation benefits due to the virus.
Want to talk through your potential work comp claim after getting sick with COVID-19 at work?
State Law Updated to Help First Responders Get Work Comp Benefits
On April 7, 2020, Minnesota’s legislators passed a bill to help first responders, health care workers and day care workers get workers’ compensation benefits. The workers specifically covered by this bill are as follows:
- Emergency medical technicians
- Health care providers, nurses, or assistive employees in health care, home care, or long-term care settings, with direct COVID-19 patient care or ancillary work in COVID-19 patient units
- Licensed peace officers under section 626.84, subdivision 1
- Nurses or health care workers, correctional officers, or security counselors employed by the state or a political subdivision at a corrections, detention, or secure treatment facilities
- Workers required to provide childcare to first responders and health care workers under Executive Order 20-02 and Executive Order 20-19
For these workers, the new law presumes that they contracted the novel coronavirus at work. This alleviates the burden from the workers of having to prove the illness came from work and not some other source.
Want to learn more about this bill? Read our recap on our blog.
The Presumption Helps, But it Doesn’t Guarantee Coverage
The presumption offered under this bill helps workers avoid some of the hurdles that can delay a request for and receipt of workers’ compensation benefits. But a presumption is not a guarantee. All it does is switch the burden from the employee to the employer or insurer.
In this situation, employers or insurers must now prove that a worker did not contract the disease while on the job. If an employer or insurer finds “substantial factors,” they must share those factors with the employee when they deny liability.
Not Covered by the Recent Bill, But Still Got COVID-19 From Work?
Any worker injured by COVID-19 at work has the opportunity to seek workers’ comp benefits, such as grocery store workers, delivery drivers, retail workers and other individuals. If you aren’t included in one of the covered groups under the bill, it doesn’t mean you can’t bring a claim. You just won’t benefit from the presumption—you still have the burden of proof if you want to seek benefits. This means you must provide proof that your illness came directly from your work and no other source.
Our team of experienced work comp attorneys knows how to handle the workers’ compensation benefits system. We can help you work through the initial request for benefits to ensure you put forth your best claim. We are also here to support you in the event of denied work comp benefits.
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Did You Get COVID-19 While at Work? We Can Help You Get Work Comp Benefits.
You’ve put yourself out on the front line to help everyone else during this difficult time. Now, let us help you.
If you contracted COVID-19 while working, we’re here to help you get the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve. Call our firm in Minneapolis, Minnesota, today at 612-874-6109 or fill out our online request form.
We understand this is a time of uncertainty for many people. If you or someone you care about has a legal question or concern on any topic, we encourage you to reach out to our team. We’ll help if we can and we’ll point you in the right direction if we can’t.
No matter what, please know you aren’t alone in any of this. We’re here to support you.