Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Posted April 3, 2020

Hamond Safety Management
Your Workers’ Compensation Professionals
Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Would workers’ compensation insurance cover exposure claims for NYSPHCC employees?
No, not at this time.
Specifically, for COVID-19, the nature of the work will determine whether not a claim with be compensable via workers’ compensation insurance. Nurses, for example, work with sick people as part of their normal job duties. If the nurse were to contract COVID-19 as a result of working with someone sick from COVID-19 then they could file for workers’ compensation.
Professionals in the plumbing, heating and cooling trades do not work with sick people as part of their normal duties so they would not be able to file a workers’ compensation claim due to COVID-19. This is due to it being impossible to determine where the exposure came from. Carriers of COVID-19 may not show symptoms between 2 and 14 days, they are infectious from the time of exposure, and they may not ever show symptoms. It is difficult, if not impossible, to determine where the exposure originated from.
Note, some states have directed the workers compensation carriers operating in that state to be more lenient regarding what would be considered a workers’ compensation claim. At the time of writing, no executive order regarding this has been issued in New York.
If you have questions regarding whether or not a COVID-19 exposure would be compensable, contact Hamond Safety Management. We prepared a list of frequently asked questions that we received.