While most of the world has experienced some impact of COVID-19 are facing a unique struggle. Not only is it possible that COVID-19 has affected your worker’s compensation, but if you’re in North Carolina, it’s extremely likely.
News coming out of the insurance industry has exposed that you might have more difficulty with workers’ compensation than ever before. Many people don’t realize that it’s a privatized insurance process, not the government aid that people believe. You can get some understanding of the changes here, but it’s always best to talk to a Charlotte workers’ compensation attorney.
Workers’ Comp is Insurance Not Government Aid
Unlike other benefits that employees receive, workers’ compensation is not a government program that you pay into disability. Instead, it is a form of insurance that your employer is required to carry. As they get their insurance, the state will look over them to ensure that it complies with the law.
So the downside is that with the coronavirus, it may be one more bill that goes wrong. When you have small and medium-sized businesses struggling to pay vendors or their lease agreements, you have to question if they’re paying their insurance bills.
Insurance is required by law, usually. However, when you have something like this, a business may be able to claim it among the other things they can’t pay.
Who Will Pay You for Your Injuries?
You should still receive full coverage under workers’ compensation if you’re hurt at work. The concern that people have for their injuries is when they have an open claim but are no longer working. With so many people out of work at the moment, it’s bound to happen that a fair percentage of them have open claims.
What happens to those claims? They are still in progress and shouldn’t be of too much worry. No doubt, they’ll have some delays as everyone adjusts to working remotely. But, the people who are receiving a paycheck and not working might worry about their coverage.
The National Council on Compensation Insurance has decided that businesses who suspended operations but are paying staff won’t pay premiums. The restrictions on those premiums fall to the payroll paid during the period that they were closed.
North Carolina and NCCI
North Carolina is an independent bureau state meaning that the NCCI is not the adopted rating bureau. However, the North Carolina Rate Bureau is aiming to keep consistency across as many states as possible. As the NCCI is aiming to change the current rule so that business can exclude this time period, the NCRB plans to follow suit.
It’s a relief for many small businesses and employees in North Carolina. Knowing that there’s still coverage for the outstanding claims, and then the aid of not paying for the payroll paid to employees while they were not working. Clearly, there’s the concern that employers would have to pay when there was no chance for an employee to get hurt on the job. All the same, it’s good news for employees statewide.
Can You Get Worker’s Compensation Because of COVID-19?
Generally speaking, you probably can’t file workers’ compensation because you contracted the coronavirus. However, if you’re among the many people who caught it at work, that is a different story. Your employer must provide you with personal protective equipment. If they failed to do so, then you caught COVID-19, then you may be able to file.
The medical industry, by and large, is going to see a surge in workers’ compensation claims. However, people working in warehouses and other essential businesses should expect to receive the same PPE. For example, if your employer required you to wash your hands and change gloves every hour but didn’t provide gloves or soap. That is a failure to provide safe working conditions given the current environment and concerns.
Talk to a Charlotte, NC Worker’s Comp Attorney
When you get in touch with a local Charlotte workers’ comp attorney, you can explore what options are available. Right now, it’s not exactly clear how employers will keep up their workers’ compensation insurance coverage. However, you have a right to access workers’ comp, and your employer must provide it.
Anyone hurt at work either directly through an injury or indirectly through an illness deserves workers comp access. At Charlotte Injury Lawyers, that’s exactly what we do. We connect people who need support and guidance with the right attorney for their case. Visit our site not to set your free consultation.