Last week, the Minnesota Legislature passed a bill that will provide expanded workers’ compensation benefits to first responders, healthcare workers and other individuals working on the front lines as the coronavirus continues to spread throughout Minnesota and the United States.
Under the new bill, first responders and other front line workers will be able to file for and collect workers’ compensation if they contract the coronavirus. Their development of the condition is to be viewed as presumptive, meaning that they need not prove that they caught the virus during work hours. If they work in an environment that has been exposed to the virus, it can be presumed that they developed symptoms as a direct result of their work duties. This helps certain essential workers focus on their recovery while having some financial security instead of fighting with an insurance company to prove how invisible pathogens entered their body, which would be a next to impossible task.
Minnesota Legislature was quite clear that they were in favor of these presumptive benefits for front line workers. The vote passed unanimously in the Senate and received only four no votes in the Senate.
Who Is Covered?
The bill doesn’t specify every single type of profession that is covered under the new presumption benefits law, but some individuals who would qualify if they contract the coronavirus include:
- Healthcare workers
- Police officers
- Correctional officers
- Daycare providers
However, one big issue remains unresolved. The state isn’t yet sure how they will pay for these claims once they inevitably start rolling in. Proponents of the bill hope that federal funding can offset most of the costs, but right now it’s too early to tell where this money will come from.
So if you or someone you know has tested positive for the coronavirus and they work in one of the above professions or in a related field, know that you have options and can collect workers’ compensation insurance. We can make a case that you deserve these presumptive benefits for your work on the front lines while we fight against this deadly virus.
Because the law is so new and the components are still being determined, it is best to have a workers’ compensation lawyer by your side throughout this process who can take care of collecting your compensation while you quarantine and focus on your health. For more information, or to set up a free case consultation, reach out to the experienced lawyers at Hey Workers today.