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Important Law Change for Essential Workers with Covid-19

Published on May 29th, 2020 by The Illinois Hammer Injury Law Firm

Important Law Change for Essential Workers with Covid-19

An important change to the law has been made regarding Covid-19 cases in Illinois. The Illinois Hammer Injury Law Firm has fought hard for essential workers with Covid-19 and continues filing cases weekly.

Emergency Amendment for Essential Workers with Covid-19

An emergency rule change that was written to make it easier for the essential workers in Illinois to receive workers’ compensation benefits after contracting Covid-19 was withdrawn. It was withdrawn when several lawsuits were filed against the Workers’ Compensation Commission to challenge the change. However, after a special session for the General Assembly, Governor Pritzker will receive a bill that once again makes it easier for essential workers to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits after contracting Covid-19.

Usually, sick and incapacitated workers seeking benefits have the burden of proving that they were exposed to the disease at work. The law is now being amended for employees of essential businesses which require employees to encounter members of the general public or work in locations which have more than 15 employees. Those employees who are claiming to have become disabled because they’ve contracted Covid-19 are now presumed to have been exposed through their employment, making the  disease causally related to their work.

To see a more in-depth list of essential businesses and essential workers place click here.

The Impact on Employers

The employers under this amendment will have the burden of showing that appropriate health and safety protections recommended by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention or the Illinois Department of Public Health were in place for at least 14 consecutive days before a particular employee became ill or incapacitated from Covid-19. Examples of necessary safety precautions are thorough sanitation procedures and social distancing requirements

Benefits Essential Workers Are Entitled To

For the presumption to apply at trial, workers who contract the virus before June 15, must have a diagnosis from a doctor or a positive test for Covid-19 or its antibodies. Those who become ill or disabled after June 15, must produce a positive lab test.

Benefits available under the Acts may include related emergency and medical treatment, hospital and surgical care, and rehabilitation services at the expense of their employers. They may also receive temporary total and/or partial disability benefits, and compensation for permanent disability. In the cases of those who died from Covid-19, their surviving spouses, children and other dependents may be entitled to weekly benefits and burial expenses.  To find out more about benefits under Workers’ Compensation for essential workers please click here.

The Illinois Hammer Injury Law Firm Can Help

The Illinois Hammer Injury Law Firm has over 300 years of collective experience in injury law and we are at the forefront of Covid-19 cases.

If you are an essential worker who contracted Covid-19 and was put on a ventilator, or if your loved one was an essential worker who died of Covid-19, please call us today to find out more about your options.


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