Employees in Texas working for companies that provide workers’ compensation benefits may be wondering if they can be compensated should they contract the coronavirus. If an employee was to fall ill and develop respiratory symptoms that are consistent with the symptoms of COVID-19, would they be entitled to benefits under the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act?
If you’ve contracted the coronavirus while carrying out your duties at work, it may be classified as an occupational disease, and you just may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
Covid-19 As An Occupational Disease
An occupational disease is an illness that has arisen due to employment. For instance, first responders and healthcare workers who have contracted the virus while on the job have become ill due to the unique conditions of their jobs that make the risk of contracting it much higher.
Employees who have contracted coronavirus must have a formal diagnosis confirming it. This makes their case stronger and gives them a higher chance of prevailing in their workers’ comp claim.
Workers’ Compensation for COVID-19 in Texas
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Texas, it is one of the states that has issued a directive on workers’ compensation claims related to it. What this means is that workers’ comp claims in Texas due to COVID-19 will not be rejected outright by insurance companies. COVID-19 may be seen as an occupational disease since employees can contract it while at work, thereby making it a work-related illness.
The burden of proof of the argument that an employee has not contracted the virus at work falls on the employer. The employer has to investigate the employee’s claims on their part. If more employees fall ill to COVID-19, and if the responsibilities of the employee place them in public all the time, it increases the likelihood of the claim falling in favor of the employee. However, claims are approved on a case-by-case basis, and laws not only vary by state, but they are also changing regularly.
The benefits of workers’ comp during COVID-19 include:
- Temporary income benefits
- Impairment income benefits
- Supplemental income benefits
- Lifetime income benefits
- Medical benefits
- Burial benefits
- Death benefits
You can find out more about coverage here.
What To Do If You Suspect You’ve Contracted The Coronavirus
The first thing you should do is get tested for the virus. There are healthcare providers in Texas who are experts in Texas Workers’ Comp laws and can guide you on what to do, including whether your occupation is considered high-risk under Texas law. If you test positive for the virus, you should inform your employer immediately. At the same time, you should file a workers’ comp claim to get the process started.
Workers’ Compensation for COVID-19 in Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas
The healthcare providers at Texas Medical Institute specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of employees with on-the-job injuries, including those who have contracted the coronavirus.
Many health insurers have waived testing costs for patients, including medical equipment and supplies, treatment, and telehealth visits for COVID-related cases. We have dedicated Texas workers’ comp staff to help you. Call (817) 615-8633 or request an appointment now.