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Workers Compensation: Your Safety Net


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Workers Compensation: Your Safety Net

You put your heart and soul into your job, so it seems only fair that you should be protected from harm while you’re there. Most good employers do go out of their way to provide safety training and equipment to keep their workers safe and protected from any hazards. Federal agencies, like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, also have standards in place for employers to follow to keep their workers safe. However, sometimes accidents happen anyway, and when they do, workers compensation is meant to be your safety net. Most of the time, if you follow your company’s procedures for filing a workers compensation claim, you’ll be paid with no trouble. However, I know from experience that it isn’t always that easy. I started this blog to help you learn what to do when your company or their insurance company denies your workers compensation claim.

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At last count, there were nearly 500,000 cases of COVID-19 in the United States and over 18,000 have died from it. This disease is easily transmissible and can have serious health consequences for those who contract it. Unfortunately, there are a number of issues related to the novel coronavirus affecting the world that will make it difficult to collect long-term disability insurance, and here are two you may encounter.

You May Not Be Sick for Long Enough

Long-term disability insurance will pay out benefits if the coronavirus made you too sick to work. The problem is, though, these policies tend to have waiting periods; meaning, you won't get any money until a certain amount of time passes after you fall ill. The waiting period is typically between 30 and 90 days. However, some companies require policyholders to wait 6 months to a year before they'll even look the claims.

It can take up to 14 days for symptoms of COVID-19 infection to manifest. Mild cases tend to resolve within two weeks. People with underlying medical conditions (e.g. asthma, diabetes) may develop complications that cause them to take longer to heal (up to six weeks). Depending on the state of your health, there's a good chance you'll get better before the waiting period expires, quashing your chances of getting benefits.

It should be noted, though, that you may still qualify for long-term disability insurance benefits if the disease causes disabling injuries. For instance, COVID-19 can cause lung damage. If you can't do your job anymore because of reduced lung capacity and that condition is expected to last longer than your waiting period, you would be eligible to collect disability benefits.

You May Be Covered by Workers' Compensation

Where and how you contract the virus can also affect whether your insurance provider approves you for disability benefits. Specifically, if you get sick while on the job due to something connected to your employer, your disability claim will likely be denied. This is because job-related illnesses fall under the purview of workers' compensation insurance and your medical bills and other expenses would be paid for by that program.

For instance, you work in a grocery store. If you get sick from a customer, you would be required to file a claim with workers' comp since the "injury" occurred on the job.

A fast-moving virus like the novel coronavirus can make pinning down exactly where you became infected a complicated issue. This can work for and against you. Your long-term disability insurance company may claim you got it from work to avoid paying benefits while workers' comp may claim you were infected in your personal life for the same reason. You will need the assistance of skilled attorney to help you sort the issue out and get the benefits you deserve.

For help with your disability claim or more information about how insurance companies are handling COVID-19, try visiting a website such as Iler and Iler to learn more.