Financial Support During the Pandemic

You may have another option for getting yourself and your family through the trauma and hardship of the coronavirus crisis. If your job comes with a high risk for exposure, you could get workers’ compensation benefits in Washington State.

These benefits cover:

  • Time-loss wages for income you miss after contracting COVID-19 or coming into contact in the workplace with people who have the virus
  • Medical treatment for COVID-19

The news talks about various kinds of special financial aid to help with the economic damage of the pandemic, but don’t overlook the workers’ comp system that’s been there all along. It can make a big difference during a hard time for your family.

If you’re a health care worker or first responder, you’re among the heroes of this crisis, putting yourself at risk and enduring extremely difficult conditions to do your job. You deserve the gratitude of our community, and our entire country.

The Washington workers’ compensation lawyers at Bothwell & Hamill know how to build a claim for coronavirus, and we’re committed to supporting you.

The state Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) issued a fact sheet on workers’ comp and the coronavirus. You can read that information here.

Or keep reading below for more on how this process works.

We help hardworking people win benefits in Yakima, Kennewick, Sunnyside, Spokane, Richland, Ellensburg, Wenatchee, Walla Walla and all across Central Washington.

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How Do I Qualify for L&I Benefits for Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

The most important factor to winning workers’ compensation benefits for coronavirus exposure or infection is working in a high-risk industry.
L&I says you can file a claim if:

  • You faced a higher chance of contracting COVID-19 because of the kind of work you do, such as health care workers and first responders.
  • Outside your job, you would have been better able to avoid the virus.
  • You can identify a specific situation when you were exposed, like treating a patient with the virus.

You don’t have to prove that your employer failed to keep you safe from the virus, say by sanitizing the workplace, providing the proper protective gear or keeping people away from each other.

Workers’ comp isn’t based on negligence or fault. It’s about whether your health was compromised at work, and that’s all.

However, if you contracted COVID-19 at work because of general community spread of the virus—not because your workplace involves unusual levels of exposure—L&I says you will be denied workers’ comp benefits. L&I gave the example of an office worker who got the virus from a co-worker.

If you’re in one of those high-risk industries, we’re in awe of the sacrifices you’re making to help others—and we want to help you.

To get you started, Bothwell & Hamill will provide an evaluation of your case for free.

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Does a Coronavirus Quarantine Qualify for Workers’ Comp in Washington?

What happens if you were exposed to the coronavirus at work, so you had to leave work to go on quarantine?

If you’re sick with COVID-19 and you meet the occupation requirements above, you can make a claim for workers’ comp. But even if you’re not sick, you can make a claim for missed work due to a quarantine.

“L&I will accept claims of health care workers and first responders who are quarantined after COVID-19 exposure on the job,” said a statement from the department. “Other quarantine claims will be looked at on a case-by-case basis.”

This is how a coronavirus quarantine workers’ comp claim works:

  • To qualify, you need your quarantine to have been ordered by a doctor or public health official.
  • A quarantine claim covers lost wages for a 14-day period—the standard amount of time before doctors believe symptoms will appear.
  • If you develop symptoms, your workers’ comp benefits could last longer.

Washington’s Industrial Insurance Act also allows workers’ comp insurance to pay for coronavirus testing after a work-related exposure, whether you’re feeling symptoms or not.

A workers’ compensation attorney from Bothwell & Hamill can explain your options, and fight to get you the maximum financial support you’re eligible for.

The coronavirus has shown all of us how important it is to support each other. Let us help you.

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More Questions?

You might have a lot of questions. Bothwell & Hamill has answers.

Common Questions »
Happy Yakima man wins workers' comp with the help of Tim Hamill

Every time L&I would send me to an independent medical exam with one of their doctors (you know, the ones that always say nothing is wrong), Timothy would make sure that L&I would fail in their attempt to close my case.”


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