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Are you entitled to workers’ compensation due to contracting Covid-19?

New Jersey has recently enacted an Amendment to the Workers’ Compensation Statute recognizing Covid-19 infections as a compensable injury for all essential service workers. The Statute, S-2380, creates a rebuttable presumption of compensability for workers who perform functions that involve physical proximity to members of the public and are essential to the public’s health, safety and welfare. This includes, but is not limited to, workers in transportation services, hotel and other residential services, financial services, and the production, preparation, storage, sale and distribution of essential goods such as food, beverages, medicine, fuel and supplies for conducting essential business and work at home.

Essential workers are in health care, food markets, first responders, police and firefighters, Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Amazon distribution, FedEx and UPS delivery, liquor stores, and pharmacy stores such as CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens. New Jersey benefits provide for medical treatment, temporary wage loss, and permanent bodily impairment. The medical field is still discovering possible long term effects of the infection on victims.

If a worker fails to file a claim petition for benefits, the availability of compensation may be precluded by the Statute of Limitations, which is two years from the diagnosis. Our office continues to provide legal services for workers injured in the course of their employment in New Jersey. We have upgraded our computers and software programs to safely intake new clients without the need for them to come to our office.

New Jersey Compensation Courts are operating via Zoom teleconference hearings. We are participating in Court activities throughout the Southern New Jersey Counties. Our office location is fully staffed. We are accessible by phone, email, fax, USPS, and teleconference technology.

People working remotely from their homes should file claims for workers’ compensation benefits if they are injured during the course of their employment, regardless of their location. This could include any injury that would occur in an office environment, such as trip and fall, lumbar injuries from lifting packages or supplies, cervical and hand injuries from prolonged computer use, injuries from setting up or moving home computer equipment used for work, falling out of desk chairs, moving home office furniture used for work, even motor vehicle accidents occurring while employees are engaged in activities for the benefit of their employer, like going to the bank, store, customer meetings, dropping off or picking up employer supplies or equipment used in the employer’s business.

Employees who have sustained injury while working remotely should contact our office to learn of their rights and entitlements. We will determine if their injuries are compensable under the Workers’ Compensation Act. Consultation with our attorneys is always free. All fees are contingent upon a recovery of benefits for the claimant. A phone call or email to us is all it takes to determine if the claimant’s injury is worth pursuing. Our office has been representing injured workers in New Jersey since 1986. We bring order to chaos, and turn a negative experience into a positive result. Let us help you with your claim.

Once again, please contact Doner and Castro if you contracted Covid-19 in the workplace or while carrying out the duties of your employment. We are all struggling due to this pandemic. So if you are injured due to your status of being an essential worker, let us help you get the compensation you deserve. You were there for us, let us be there when you need help. Doner & Castro, located in Berlin, New Jersey.