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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Workers' Compensation

Author: XpertHR Editorial Team

In most cases, an employee's contraction of the coronavirus (COVID-19) will not be considered a compensable injury under workers' compensation laws.

Workers' compensation laws cover work-related occupational diseases that arise out of and within the scope of employment. State laws differ in how they define occupational disease: some include it under the definition of personal injury, some specifically list compensable occupational diseases and some combine both approaches.

As with accidental injuries, employees must demonstrate a cause-and-effect connection between an occupational disease and their employment in order for the disease to be compensable, meaning the disease must arise out of, or be caused by, conditions peculiar to the work.

This causal connection will be difficult for many employees to demonstrate with COVID-19, especially for cases that postdate its spread in a particular region.

Nevertheless, healthcare workers, first responders and others who come in contact with COVID-19 at work may have viable claims. As detailed below, several states have made it easier for such workers to make claims.

This resource tracks these coronavirus-related workers' compensation developments and provides links to relevant government resources. It will be continually updated and added to as developments with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic unfold.