COVID-19 Workers' Compensation Claim Lawyer Columbus, Ohio

As Ohio gets back to work, workers may wonder what steps they should take if they get sick on the job with COVID-19. For the safety of its workers, Ohio is implementing workplace safety guidelines to reduce the risk of exposure to coronavirus.

Still, the risk of contracting COVID-19 means workers should understand the precautions their employers must follow to keep their job sites safe. If you fall ill and need to file a COVID-19 worker’s compensation claim, knowing your employment rights and working with a COVID-19 workers’ compensation claim lawyer can help secure the support you need.

Being granted COVID-19 workers’ compensation in Ohio could depend on how well-prepared your claim is. Gathering documentation of your injury, medical bills, and other records is a time-consuming headache. You don’t have to manage the claim for your work-contracted illness on your own.

If you have questions and need assistance filing a COVID-19 workers’ compensation claim, reach out to a COVID-19 workers’ compensation attorney. The personal injury attorneys of Barkan Meizlish, LLP have experience navigating workers’ compensation claims of every type and are ready to help you through your COVID-19 workers’ compensation process.

Can I get COVID-19 Workers’ Compensation in Ohio?

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) does not typically include communicable diseases like COVID-19 as eligible workers’ compensation claims because of the varying ways individuals can be exposed to coronavirus. According to the BWC, an Ohio coronavirus workers’ compensation claim “depends on how you contract [COVID-19] and the nature of your occupation.” Jobs with a higher risk of exposure like first responders and health care workers are more likely to have eligible COVID-19 workers’ compensation claims.

If you are working, you should know the safety precautions your employer must have in place to protect you from coronavirus exposure. Knowing how hard your employer worked to protect you can help if you need to file a COVID-19 workers’ compensation claim. Working with a workers’ compensation claim lawyer can help you manage the details of your claim and make sure your case is heard. Businesses are required to follow general and sector-specific guidelines to ensure the safety of their employees according to the Responsible Restart Ohio initiative.

  • Ensure a minimum of 6 feet between people. If not possible, install barriers.
  • Face coverings are required while employers and employees are on the job, with some exclusions.
  • Conduct daily health assessments by employers and employees (self-evaluation) to determine if “fit for duty.”
  • Maintain good hygiene at all times – hand washing, sanitizing, and social distancing.
  • Clean and sanitize workplaces throughout the workday and at the close of business or between shifts.
  • Limit capacity to meet social distancing guidelines.

Businesses are encouraged to mandate employees who can work remotely do so to limit occupancy on job sites. Injuries on the clock can happen anywhere. If you are injured while working from home or are concerned about potential exposure to COVID-19 while working remotely, contact a coronavirus workers’ compensation lawyer.

Understanding state-mandated safety procedures may help indicate whether you are at greater risk of exposure to coronavirus in your workplace. Tracking your workplace’s safety compliance can help a COVID-19 workers’ compensation attorney assess your claim.

Contact a COVID-19 workers’ compensation attorney or call the Ohio Department of Health’s hotline at 1-833-427-5634 if you have questions or concerns about your employer’s compliance with state safety guidelines. For sector-specific safety guidelines, visit the Ohio Department of Health’s online guide.

 

Do I Need a Positive COVID-19 Test to be Eligible for Workers’ Compensation?

Not necessarily.  You must have a COVID-19 diagnosis from a doctor, but you do not necessarily have to have a positive test.  If you are in doubt, it is best to file a claim.

 

If I am Quarantined Due to COVID-19, Am I Eligible for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

If you were quarantined but did not have a positive COVID-19 test or diagnosis, you will not be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.  Keep in mind that state and federal unemployment benefits were expanded in response to COVID-19.  As a result, workers who are diagnosed with COVID-19 or quarantined as a result of COVID-19 may be eligible for state or federal unemployment benefits.  You can file a claim here. https://unemploymenthelp.ohio.gov/

 

What Happens if My Claim is Denied or My Employer Does Not Agree with My Claim?

The normal appeal process remains in place – parties to the claim will continue to have 14 days to appeal. The Ohio Industrial Commission (IC) continues to hold hearings on newly filed claims.  These hearings are currently being held over the phone.

 

If I Take PTO or Sick Leave Due to COVID-19, and Later Have an Allowed Workers’ Compensation Claim, Can I Get My PTO Back?

Once your claim is allowed and temporary total compensation is awarded, your employer may credit back the paid time off or sick leave you used, but it is not required to do so. 

How Much Will I Be Paid During the Time I Cannot Work?

When you cannot work due to conditions allowed in your workers’ compensation claim, you can receive temporary total disability payments.  These are calculated at 72% of your “full weekly wage” – an average of your gross pay for the 6 weeks prior to your illness or injury.  This amount is not taxed and is meant to replace your lost income based on what you made just before you became ill. After 12 weeks of payments, the rate of compensation drops to 66% of your “average weekly wage” – an average of your gross pay for 52 weeks prior to your injury.  This income is also not taxable.

 

If I am Injured While Working from Home, Am I Eligible for Workers’ Compensation Benefits? 

Perhaps.  An allowable workers’ compensation claim in Ohio is one that occurred “in the course of” and “arising out of” your employment.  This means that if your injury occurred while you were working and was caused by your job duties, it could be an allowable claim. If you were injured while you were working from home, and the injury was caused by your job duties, contact a workers’ compensation attorney to discuss filing a claim.

 

Contact an Ohio COVID-19 Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

The workers’ compensation attorneys of Barkan Meizlish, LLP are well-established as advocates for the working class people of Columbus, Ohio. With a practice over 60 years old, they stand ready to help workers through the struggles of the shifting work environment that has been caused by the rise of coronavirus. With expert knowledge and experience, the workers’ compensation at Barkan Meizlish, LLP will make sure you don’t have to face the fallout of a workplace illness or injury alone.

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