How Can the New NE COVID-19 Presumption Bill Help You?
A new bill in Nebraska makes it easier for some workers to claim workers’ compensation after contracting COVID-19.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected the lives of workers across Nebraska and the rest of the United States. However, the novel virus has done more than shut down businesses and cost many people their livelihoods. It has also affected the people that are still working and that fear contracting COVID-19 while on the job. Now, Nebraska has enacted a new law that will make it easier for certain workers to claim workers’ compensation when they contract the virus on the job and become ill as a result.
Nebraska’s New Law
It was in January of 2021 when legislators in Nebraska introduced L.B. 441. The new law stated that certain workers are eligible for claiming workers’ compensation if they become sick from COVID-19 in the workplace. In total, there are 10 different categories of workers eligible for receiving workers’ compensation benefits if they contract the coronavirus at work. Most notably, two of those categories include first responders and healthcare workers. For those that have been on the front lines of the pandemic for over a year, the possibility of the new law being passed has many benefits.
The Benefits of the New Bill
Of course, the main benefit that comes with the new law is that eligible workers can claim workers’ compensation benefits that will cover their medical expenses and lost income if they become sick. Under Nebraska’s workers’ compensation laws, these benefits are available when a person develops an occupational illness when they are exposed to dangerous conditions in the workplace. For many front-line workers, this has recently come to mean COVID-19, as well.
However, under the law, workers’ compensation is not available to any worker that contracts an ‘ordinary disease of life,’ such as the flu or a cold. Although it has been established that COVID-19 poses many more health risks than the cold or the flu, it is also very easy to contract in the community, outside of work. Prior to the new bill, it would have been very difficult for certain employees to claim benefits because COVID-19 may be considered by some insurers as an ‘ordinary disease of life.’
In some cases, it may still be difficult for eligible workers to claim workers’ compensation after contracting COVID-19. This is because a worker may still have to prove that they contracted the virus at work, and not somewhere else. A workers’ compensation lawyer can help individuals file their claim and give them the best chance of success with it.
Call Our Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today
If you have contracted the COVID-19 virus in the workplace and now need to claim benefits while you are unable to work, our Omaha workers’ compensation lawyer can provide the help you need. At Andres Law Offices, PC, LLO, our attorney knows the obstacles you may face when filing your claim and how to overcome them. Call us today at (402) 491-4003 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation.