The Workers’ Compensation Research Institute team has found that out of the 27 states being studied, Massachusetts has the biggest portion of COVID-related workers’ compensation claims. Most of the claims filed across the nation were mainly from the healthcare industry. In Massachusetts alone, 3/4 of the COVID workers’ compensation claims were at nursing homes, hospitals, as well as medical offices.
The Workers’ Compensation Research Institute also found that “from April to June, 42 percent of all claims paid for medical care or lost wages in Massachusetts were related to COVID” (Johnston, 2021). New Jersey was the second-highest on the list, with 34% of workers’ compensation claims tied to COVID.
Is a Claim for COVID Eligible for Coverage?
It is important to remember that workers’ compensation only covers injuries that are related to work. Coverage for COVID is limited to situations where the risk of contracting the virus by a worker is inherent in the employment. For example, nurses working with COVID patients will most likely qualify. Nonetheless, no matter your occupation, lost wage benefits are usually only obtainable if you miss more than five workdays due to the illness.
Here are some tips on what to do if you have been exposed to COVID-19 at work. Throughout this ongoing pandemic, it is important that employers continue to abide by the state guidelines in order to ensure employees are working in healthy and safe working conditions.
If you are curious about your rights as an employee during COVID-19, please see here.