Florida Workers’ Compensation Benefits for COVID-19
With more people returning to work in Florida, many worry about what will happen if they contract the corona virus while there. On April 6, the Office of Insurance Regulation published a memorandum for insurance companies to remind them that people who contract the virus at their jobs are eligible for Florida Workers’ Compensation Benefits. The memo specifically states that health care workers, first responders, and other people who are exposed and contract it work are now eligible for medical and lost wage benefits. While these specific type of workers can receive Florida Workers’ Compensation Benefits during the pandemic, others however may not be so lucky. The reason being is that it may be extremely difficult for workers to prove that they contracted the virus at their place of employment.
Evan M. Ostfeld, Esq. at the Law Offices of Evan M. Ostfeld, P.A. protects the rights of injured employees so that they may receive workers’ compensation benefits. Whether that be in the form of medical benefits or lost wages, we ae here to help navigate the complicated Florida Workers Compensation system. Why go it alone and uninformed? Let our legal team explain your rights and walk you around the various pitfalls that the employers and their workers compensation carriers use to diminish your claim.
Difficulty of proving exposure at your job
Under Fla. Stat. § 440.151, people who contract illnesses or medical conditions because of their jobs are entitled to Florida Workers’ Compensation Benefits. Proving that however is another story as it can be extremely difficult, if not impossible to do so. For example, an individual must prove that their work environment contributed to and or caused them to contract the coronavirus. As such, injured workers will need to present clear and convincing evidence that the risk at their jobs of contracting the disease is greater as compared to the general public. Unfortunately, that standard is one of the toughest legal burdens to reach.
People who work in certain types of industries may have an easier time proving that they contracted this horrible affliction while engaged doing their jobs. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (better known as O.S.H.A.), has released guidance with examples of when the coronavirus can be considered to be related to work and when it cannot.
According to OSHA, a worker’s illness is likely to be considered to be work-related when his or her job involves frequent contact with the general public in an area that has ongoing community spread of the virus when there is no other reasonable explanation. By contrast, if a worker does not frequently interact with the public and is the only worker who contracts the virus, it will not be likely to be considered an occupational disease.
This means that essential workers who have public-facing jobs may have a greater chance of success with their Florida Workers’ Compensation benefits claims for contracting it. Health care workers for instance, who contract the disease are presumed to have done so at work. Fortunately, the Florida CFO Directive 2020-05 created a rebuttable presumption that specific types of frontline state employees who contract it did so because of their jobs and therefore are entitled to benefits under the Florida Workers Compensation system.
Get help from the Law Offices of Evan M. Ostfeld, P.A.
Whether you’ve suffered from a traditional Florida Workers’ Compensation on the job injury or exposed to something dangerous at work, you should seek legal representation immediately. Don’t let the employer and or their workers compensation insurance adjuster take advantage of you. Just because they may state that there is no claim, that decision is not final. It’ best to get legal help from Evan M. Ostfeld, Esq. so he can try and recover the Florida Workers’ Compensation benefits that you may deserve.
The Law Offices of Evan M. Ostfeld, P.A. has over twenty-six years of experience and provides a no-obligation case evaluation. Moreover, there are no attorney’s fees and or costs due unless there is a settlement or court award. We also pride ourselves on constant client communication so the injured employee can see the cases steps we take all along the way. Don’t just take our word for it. Look at the many reviews from current and former people that we’ve represented over the years! So don’t delay and contact us today to schedule a free consultation at (866) I SUE YOU, (478-3968, (866) BAD RXRX, (223-7979), (954) 998-0075 Text, (954) 227-7529 or firstname.lastname@example.org.