COVID-19 (coronavirus) came in like a hurricane, shutting down businesses around the world. It has changed the way we live, interact, and work. With the State of Washington reopening, there are concerns that returning workers could be exposed to COVID-19 while on the job. So, if you are exposed on the job, what do you do? We are here to help answer these questions!
CAN I FILE A CLAIM WITH L&I IF I HAVE BEEN EXPOSED WHILE AT WORK?
Yes, you can and should file a claim with the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I). Every worker has a right to submit or file a claim form, which can be completed by mail or through their website.
WHAT SHOULD I DO FIRST AFTER EXPOSURE?
The first thing you want to do is report the exposure to your employer. You will want to do this immediately, not only for documentation purposes for your claim, but also so the employer can take steps to properly disinfect the work area and stop any additional exposures.
DO I NEED TO SEE A DOCTOR?
Typically, you will need to see a doctor after exposure. However, with our current state guidelines, you will need to call your doctor first and follow your doctor’s recommendations. Your doctor may tell you to self-quarantine for two weeks or recommend you be evaluated and tested. It will be important for you to tell your doctor that you were exposed to COVID-19 while on the job, so your claim will be treated as an L&I claim and your doctor will then file the required Report of Accident form. Your doctor may not initially know that the exposure was at work and, therefore, may not file a workers’ compensation claim, unless you provide the correct information.
HOW CAN I GET TESTED FOR COVID-19?
In the State of Washington, the Department of Health is instructing people who think they need to be tested to contact their health care provider and ask to be tested. If you do not have a health care provider, you may contact an urgent care center near you. You may either make an appointment through your health care provider or check with your local health department or district on where to get tested.
HOW COULD FILING AN L&I CLAIM BENEFIT ME?
You may be entitled to lost wages, medical care and permanent partial or total disability.
WHAT IF I’M NOT SHOWING ANY SYMPTOMS?
You should consider filing a claim to cover future medical treatment and compensate you for time loss benefits, if you are quarantined.
WHAT DO I DO IF I NEED HELP WITH FILING MY CLAIM? Give us a call! Once you file a claim, we are more than happy to set up a telephone or Zoom call to discuss your options. Our consultations are free and, if hired, we can help you through every step of the way. Our phone number is (360) 528-4800.