Workers’ Compensation and COVID-19

North Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation Act provides benefits such as lost wages, compensation for disabilities, medical treatment, and vocational rehabilitation for eligible workers who become injured or ill at work.

Discussions about how and whether COVID-19 will be covered by workers’ compensation are ongoing.  However, COVID-19 may be covered as an occupational disease.  Under current law, an employee must meet two criteria to establish a valid claim for workers’ compensation for COVID-19.

First, the employee must show that they were at an increased risk of exposure to COVID-19 compared to the general population.  Second, the employee must show that their work actually caused them to be infected by the virus. These factors may be easier to prove for first responders and healthcare workers, for example, as they are routinely exposed to the virus as part of their daily work.  Workers who fear exposure at work should document safety issues, report safety issues, and adopt and document practices at home to stay safe and avoid exposure.

The North Carolina Industrial Commission has set out the changes it is making in procedures during the pandemic on its website at www.ic.nc.gov.  Those who need to reach a member of the Claims Section can email claimsadmin@ic.nc.gov or call (919)-716-1734 and leave a detailed message.  Those who need to reach an Information Specialist can email infospec@ic.nc.gov or call (919)-716-1727 and leave a detailed message. 

If you think your are entitled to workers’ compensation and want a consult, call our firm toll free at 1-800-458-2541 or contact us online today.