The Illinois General Assembly approved the bill contained in this content with a landslide vote of 113-2, which gives House Bill 2455 final go-ahead. There were two industry groups that sued the IWCC in state court, but the emergency amendment has been approved. If you are an essential worker and have contracted Covid-19 – the burden of proof on you to show how you contracted it has been lowered.
Illinois Workers’ Compensation Lawmakers Pass Emergency Amendment for COVID-19 Front-Line Workers
Effective April 13, 2020, as part of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission’s State of Emergency Arbitration, an amendment to the code has been approved. Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), First Responders and Front-Line workers who are exposed to COVID-19 will be reubuttably presumed to have been exposed due to their connection to their employment. This is of great historical precedent as most workplace injuries must be proven to have occurred as a direct result of your employment. For example, if you claim to have a back injury from lifting something heavy at your job – it would be your burden to prove the injury did, in fact, occur at work and not because of some heavy lifting you did at your home or elsewhere.
What this Means for Front-Line COVID-19 Workers’ Compensation Claims
Since Illinois is under a government mandated shelter-in-place, the lawmakers have ruled that medical workers and first responders who contract Coronavirus are presumed to have gotten it at work. There is no more burden to prove you didn’t contract it from others. This is a landmark decision because this means if you are a front-line Covid-19 worker you have guaranteed Workers’ Compensation Act rights to financial recovery if you are infected.
Am I a First Responder or Front-Line Worker?
Any individuals employed as the following:
- Fire Personnel
- Emergency Medical Technicians
- Health Care providers who work in patient care
- Corrections officers
Many other crucial/essential personnel are also covered under this amendment. Including those identified in the Executive Order 2020-10 issued on March 20, 2020:
- Stores that sell groceries and medicine
- Food, beverage, and cannibis production
- Organizations that provide charitable and social services
- Gas stations and businesses needed to provide transport
- Financial institutions
- Hardware and supply stores
- Critical trades
- Shipping and logistics
- Educational employees
- Restaurant workers providing off-site food
- Supplies for essential businesses
- Professional services
- Day care centers
- Manufacturers of essential services
- Labor union functions
- Hotels and motels
- Funeral service providers
I’ve contracted COVID-19 from working – What do I do?
If you’ve been infected by Coronavirus (COVID-19) and you work in one of the fields listed above, contact us right away at (815) 965-2000 or contact us here right away. We will help you get the financial recovery from your time off, medical bills, and all other protected rights covered under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act.