COVID-19 Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Death Claims in California
The Covid-19 pandemic has been devastating for so many individuals and families, and we would like to express how deeply saddened we are by all the deaths the virus has caused. We would also like to inform you that if you lost a loved one who contracted Covid-19 while working and died, you may be entitled to file a claim to recover damages.
Governor Gavin Newsom on September 17, 2020, signed SB 1159 which codifies the COVID-19 presumption created by Executive Order N-62-20 and provides two new rebuttable presumptions that an employee’s COVID-19 illness is an occupational injury and therefore eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if specified criteria are met.
First Responders, Healthcare Workers, and Other High-Risk Employees
When certain healthcare workers and first responders test positive for COVID-19 within 14 days after working at their employer’s direction and place of employment, they’ll be entitled to a presumption that the illness is work related. High-risk employees covered under this law include:
- active firefighters and peace officers
- emergency medical providers and service coordinators
- healthcare employees who provide direct patient care
- custodial employees at healthcare facilities who have contact with COVID-19 patients
- other employees of healthcare facilities, unless the employer can prove that they had no contact with a COVID-19 patient within the previous 14 days; and
- providers of in-home supportive services.
Workers’ Comp Coverage When Workplaces Have COVID-19 Outbreaks
Even if you don’t qualify for the law that applies to healthcare workers and first responders, California will presume that you have a work-related illness when you get COVID-19 within 14 days of working at a job site that’s experiencing an outbreak of the disease, as long as your employer has at least five employees. An outbreak means that, within a 14-day period, at least four out of 100 or fewer employees at your workplace have tested positive for COVID-19 (or 4% of the total if there are more than 100 employees at that site), or officials have closed the workplace because of the risk of infection.
Contact an Experienced California Attorney
Succeeding in a workers’ compensation claim in California will require the assistance of an attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced in the area of California workers’ compensation law. If you have lost a loved one due to COVID-19 in California, and would like to consult with an experienced California workers’ compensation attorney about the possibility of bringing a claim, call us today at (562) 901-4664 or visit our contact page to schedule a free consultation.
Christopher Montes de Oca is an experienced personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles. Chris is recognized as a “Super Lawyer Rising Star,” a recognition that only 2.5 percent of lawyers receive, because of the exceptional results he has seen and his dedication to his clients. Chris services clients throughout Los Angeles, including Echo Park, Maywood, Long Beach, Whittier, Glendale, La Mirada, Pico Rivera, Hacienda Heights, and Alhambra. Call him today for a free consultation at (562) 901-4664.