Workers’ Compensation and COVID-19 – Frequently Asked Questions
Who is covered for workers’ compensation?
Employees paid through Cast & Crew, CAPS, and Media Services where Cast & Crew/CAPS/Media Services is the Employer of Record may receive workers’ compensation benefits through the Cast & Crew/CAPS/Media Services’ workers’ compensation program.
Is COVID-19 covered under workers’ compensation?
Any workers’ compensation claim with a COVID-19 related injury will be evaluated on a claim-by-claim basis. With regard to the claim being covered under workers’ compensation the answer to that question is “maybe.” While workers’ compensation laws provide compensation for occupational diseases arising out of and in the course and scope of employment, many state statutes exclude “ordinary diseases of life” (e.g., the common cold or flu).
Depending on the circumstances, COVID-19 may be considered an occupational illness or disease covered under workers’ compensation if it arises out of and in the course and scope of employment. There are several factors that must be met in order to constitute the “out of and in the course of employment” requirement, including:
- There must be a direct causal connection between the conditions under which the work is performed and the occupational disease;
- The occupational disease followed as a natural incident of the work as a result of the exposure caused in the course and scope of employment;
- It can be fairly traced to the employment as the proximate cause; and
- It does not come from a hazard to which workers would have been equally exposed outside of employment.
For an in-depth answer to how COVID-19 could be considered a compensable WC illness, please see our blog post.
Does coverage extend to employees who have come into close contact with someone who has tested positive or is it limited to those employees who have tested positive?
No. A workers’ compensation claim can only exist where there is an injury or illness that is work related. Both a positive test (and/or positive diagnosis) as well as being able to link the exposure to occurring at and being related to work would be needed to create a potential compensable loss.
Do I have to wait for an employee to be tested positive to report a workers’ compensation claim?
No, you do not have to wait for a test. If you have any employee reporting COVID-19 symptoms or reporting that they have been confirmed as having COVID-19 via either a doctor’s diagnosis or a positive test, please report that illness to Cast & Crew/CAPS/Media Services as soon as possible. If an employee alleges that they have a work-related exposure or they request to file a workers’ compensation claim, please report that to Cast & Crew/CAPS/Media Services as soon as possible. Reporting can be made through our Stars Intake App or on the Injury and Illness Report Form. Please include as much information as is available to ensure we can investigate and make sure that anyone that should be covered under our workers’ compensation program receives the appropriate benefits.
Is there any extra paperwork or workers’ compensation requirements for COVID-19 claims?
There is no additional paperwork required for COVID-19 workers’ compensation claims over any other workers’ compensation claim.
How can an employee get workers’ compensation medical care in light of COVID-19?
Employees continue to have access to medical care for their workers’ compensation claims during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to being able to seek care at occupational clinics, employees covered through the Cast & Crew/CAPS/Media Services workers’ compensation program have access to Telemedicine options. For those that are seeking in person care, there are options for call ahead appointments. Please contact our workers’ compensation Care Advocacy team if you have any questions or concerns.
If an employee has an accepted COVID-19 workers’ compensation claim, do they get paid for the quarantine period?
Depending on the state of jurisdiction, if an employee is diagnosed with COVID-19 and it is deemed to be a compensable workers’ compensation claim, they will be paid through our workers’ compensation program for any lost wages per the requirements in their state.
How long will a COVID-19 illness be covered as a workers’ compensation claim?
COVID-19 is treated as any other illness when it comes to workers’ compensation. If the employee is exposed in the course and scope of employment, and if that exposure is causally related to their work, then they may receive workers’ compensation benefits. Each state has different rules and regulations about compensating for loss of earnings as a result of a claim, but generally speaking, so long as they are being restricted from working as a result of their work-related illness, they will be covered for at least a portion of their lost wages (subject to state maximums).
For further information, please contact:
Cast & Crew clients: email@example.com
CAPS clients: firstname.lastname@example.org
Media Services clients: WCDEPT@mediaservices.com
Pamela Brann, Vice President, Risk Management
Phone: (818) 738-9328
Jessica Tan, Risk Manager
Phone: (818) 972-3238