Did Workers Comp Pay COVID-19 Claims? – Popular Holiday Question


One of the questions that many of my relatives and friends from the southwest ask me was to see how did Workers Comp pay COVID-19 claims?

Most of my relatives and friends never have been that concerned about Workers Comp.  They had questions this year on how many insurance carriers and self-insured decided to pay COVID-19 claims or deny them.  Their questions were a surprise to me as no one had been concerned about what Workers Comp covers for injured employees.

Everyone had heard a story or two where the Workers Comp carriers issued denials for these claims.   My brother was a former Kansas State House Member.   The Kansas legislature was unsuccessful in passing a bill for the presumption to pay COVID-19 claims.

Many of my friends and relatives have public-facing jobs including teachers.  A few contracted the virus with a sustained influenza-like illness.  The worst illnesses came from the original strain of the virus.

My Answer To The Questions

I referred my family and friends to the NCCI COVID-19 pages.  I said that many states passed presumption bills that covered COVID-19 claims.

I reminded them that all states have an occupational disease statute that covers on-the-job illnesses. I pointed them to an article that I wrote earlier this year on this very subject last year.

Many relatives and friends were glad to hear that the occupational disease statutes were in place long before claim departments had to adjust and likely pay the claims.

Claim Departments Did Not Pay All Covid Claims In Certain Instances

I also reminded my friends/relatives that the claims were not rubber-stamped and paid when they received the first report of injury.  The one question that I left them with was – can someone working exclusively in a home office due to the pandemic contract a disease on-the-job?

At least Workers Comp came up in a conversation where everyone did not roll their eyes due to instant boredom. 

This blog post is provided by James Moore, AIC, MBA, ChFC, ARM, and is republished with permission from J&L Risk Management Consultants. Visit the full website at www.cutcompcosts.com.

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