If you contracted the Coronavirus (officially Covid-19) at work in New Jersey, you may be eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits. The crucial question is whether you, the employee, contracted Covid-19 directly from the workplace. For obvious reason, it might be difficult to establish that Covid-19 was contracted during the course of your employment as opposed to somewhere else. Any employee may be eligible if that link can be established.
Certain professions like nurses, healthcare workers, police officers, and first responders, especially those treating or caring for Covid-19 positive patients, are more likely to have the necessary link between the workplace and the illness. Public safety workers have additional legal safeguards in place thanks to what is known as the Thomas P. Canzanella Twenty First Century First Responders Protection Act (N.J.S.A. 34:15-31.2, et seq.). This Act was created in response to the devastating illnesses suffered by public safety workers after responding to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The Act wants to assure that those workers are not denied a level of support that is commensurate to the sacrifices they and their families make for the benefit of the State and country.
If it is determined that you contracted Covid-19 on the job, your medical bills will be paid, you should be able to receive 70% of your salary for the time you missed work, and if left with permanent effects from Covid-19, you may be eligible for money compensation for your permanent disability.
On a related issue, here’s a handy chart from the New Jersey Department of Labor regarding other potential benefits available:
If you believe you became infected with COVID-19 on the job, don’t hesitate to contact our Worker’s Compensation department at Raff & Raff for a free consultation. They’ll be able to identify the facts of your situation and tell you whether you have a viable Worker’s Compensation claim.
Chris Hoskey, Esq. and Michael Raff, Esq.