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Filing California COVID-19 Workers’ Compensation Claims – Do I need a Lawyer?

In almost all cases, we get people more compensation for their workers’ compensation claims than they would receive without a lawyer. If you are positive for COVID-19 and out of work, contact us today for a free consultation.

Executive Order N-62-20

As per Governor Gavin Newsome’s Executive Order N-62-20, a hurdle has been removed for California front line workers, so they can access workers’ compensation benefits and focus on  recovering after contracting COVID-19 at work. Pursuant to the order, an employee becomes eligible for workers’ compensation benefits for COVID-19 if the following requirements are met

  • He or she was diagnosed with COVID-19 within 14 days of working in the course of their employment at a location pursuant to the employer’s instruction.
  • That work was performed on or after March 19, 2020.
  • The employee wasn’t working remotely.
  • The employee’s COVID-19 diagnosis was made by a medical doctor who was licensed by the State of California, and that diagnosis was confirmed through additional testing within 30 days of the initial diagnosis.

The Governor’s Intent

The stated purpose of N 62-20 is the protection of California employees who are not affected by shelter in place orders. It affirms that employees who go to work while sick increase the health risks to others who they come into contact with both at work and elsewhere. The benefits that affected workers might receive operate to reduce the risk of COVID-19 contamination to the population in general. Before benefits under N 62-20 can be triggered, any other benefits such as sick leave must be exhausted. Governor Newsome also drastically reduced the period of time in which an employer must deny a workers’ compensation claim from 90 days to 30 days after the claim form is filed in COVID-19 cases.

The Creation of a Rebuttable Presumption

Upon an appropriate filing, a legal presumption arises that the claimant acquired the COVID-19 virus during the course of his or her employment. This presumption remains in effect for 60 days after the signing of the executive order on March 6, 2020. Depending on COVID-19 eradication efforts, the order might be extended. Without the presumption, insurance defense lawyers would raise difficult causation issues on behalf of employers. The presumption is rebuttable though, and in no case is it permitted to arise if the employee was working from his or her residence.

Rebutting the Presumption

The subject order is silent on what must be shown in order to rebut the presumption. Although it might obviously be rebutted by a claimant’s failure to meet the criteria set forth above, the California Department of Industrial Relations will advise accordingly in the immediate future.

On the basis of Executive Order N 62-20, employers are compelled to implement and publish new policies that will require employees to immediately report COVID-19 contamination. The legislative landscape has changed overnight, especially in the context of the presumption that arises and the time to deny a COVID-19 workers’ compensation claim.

Contact a Sacramento Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today.

You probably don’t want to bring any type of a COVID-19 claim on your own. N 62-20 actually makes certain aspects of California workers’ compensation law more complicated. A quality Sacramento workers’ compensation lawyer is going to use the order in your best interests and work toward maximizing any settlement or award that you deserve. Contact our offices to speak with an experienced and effective Sacramento COVID-19 workers compensation lawyer at no cost at all to you. If we’re retained to represent you, it’s very likely that we can resolve your claim at a significantly greater value than you would if you proceed without the benefit of having us represent you.