COVID-19 has caused a strain not only in the United States, but worldwide. The effects of the pandemic have impacted everyone in one way or another – whether physically, mentally, or economically. For thousands of working Americans, it has impacted them in more ways than one.
Workers’ compensation laws serve to provide financial security and compensation for those who have been injured or otherwise harmed on the job. However, whether or not you’re covered for illness (particularly coronavirus) highly depends on where you reside. In North Carolina, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if you approach the application process carefully. In South Carolina, however, it may not be as easy.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover for COVID in North Carolina?
Your case of COVID may be covered by workers’ compensation in North Carolina, though it requires a lot of leg work on your part to execute. As outlined by The North Carolina Industrial Commission, “all workers’ compensation claims are decided by applying the facts of the particular case to North Carolina law. The employee bears the burden of establishing all necessary legal requirements of [filing] the claim.”
So, the responsibility falls on the worker to collect all necessary evidence not only of the disease, but that they contracted it at work. Making a case for this can prove to be incredibly difficult, as the coronavirus is not only a rapidly spreading virus, but it is so widely common for as long as the pandemic is actively going on. Gathering the right evidence and presenting it can be a challenging task to accomplish alone. Hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer to help navigate this process can significantly increase your chances of being awarded benefits.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover for COVID in South Carolina?
In South Carolina, laws surrounding workers’ compensation for COVID-19 are much more complicated. For employees in South Carolina, the odds of receiving workers’ compensation benefits for COVID-19 are against them. This is due to South Carolina’s rigid approach to compensating injured workers. The South Carolina legislature has not deemed any community diseases, such as the flu and common cold, to be a compensable injury for workers’ compensation under the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act. This, unfortunately, extends to the coronavirus disease.
Essentially, SC state laws do not view illnesses to be exclusive to the workplace and suggest that they can be contracted anywhere, so those who are infected are not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. With few exceptions, such as illness due to toxic exposure to substances like asbestos and Roundup while at work, those who are sickened while actively employed must plan around their illness. Even first responders, who respond to COVID-related calls almost daily, have to put up a fight for their welfare to be protected, according to the South Carolina Professional Firefighters’ Association. Needless to say, South Carolina is much more unforgiving on the topic of workers’ compensation for COVID-19 infections and subsequent losses.
Protecting The Good People in the Carolinas
From North to South, we are all united as one in the Carolinas. In the event of work leaves and lost wages due to a COVID-19 infection, it is important to approach the issue with utmost urgency and know your rights. At Grimes Teich Anderson, we dedicate our time, resources, and expertise to every case. With our individual and combined experience, we will work tirelessly to win you the best possible outcome for your case. If you or a loved one believe you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for contracting COVID-19 at work, contact us today by submitting an inquiry form on our website or calling our office at 800-533-6845 for a free legal consultation.