Tag Archives: healthcare workers

New COVID-19 Portal for Frontline Workers

King County, WA has added a new COVID-19 portal for healthcare workers and first responders who need Coronavirus testing and are having difficulty obtaining the test. This portal, with speedy response time, will assist these workers in getting the care they need. It will also assist them in filing workers’ compensation claims.

Seattle and King County Public Health’s Notice:

Assistance for first responders and health care workers

If you are a first responder or a health care worker and are currently experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, and cannot access testing through your health care provider or occupational health, please fill out this online form for assistance. We will try to respond within 24 hours.

WA State Provides Workers’ Compensation Coverage

Seattle and King County Public Health’s new COVID-19 portal will help first responders and healthcare workers get the testing they need. This testing may result in a period of quarantine and medical treatment. A workers’ compensation claim may need to be filed if compensation for lost wages is needed.

Governor Inslee announced workers’ compensation coverage for quarantined health workers/first responders on March 5, 2020. The expanded coverage takes effect immediately and covers eligible workers already under quarantine.

“These health care workers and first responders are protecting our communities. They need to know that we have their backs. This is the right thing to do.”

– Governor Jay Inslee

The Department of Labor and Industries can pay time loss compensation to these workers during their period of quarantine. However, the Governor encouraged employers to keep these workers on their payroll to avoid the financial hit that comes with any worker’s receipt of time loss compensation under a claim.

Benefits Under a Claim

Workers’ compensation coverage can include medical testing, cover treatment expenses if a worker becomes ill or injured and provide time-loss payments for those who cannot work if they are sick or quarantined. A claim can also include benefits should death occur due to the virus.

Workers can file a workers’ compensation claim up to two years after being exposed to a disease at work.

Our suggestion to those that are diagnosed with COVID-19, and believe that they were exposed to the Coronavirus on the job, especially as a healthcare worker or first responder, is to file a claim with the Department of Labor and Industries.

How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim

A claim can be:

  • Filed online
  • By phone: 1-877-561-FILE (3453)
  • Through your doctor’s office

As with any claim decision, the Department of Labor and Industries will issue an Order and Notice stating whether your claim is allowed or denied. You will have sixty (60) days within which to file a written protest or appeal if you disagree with the decision. A protest can be faxed, mailed or submitted to the Department online. If no protest or appeal is filed within 60 days from the date you received the order, the decision becomes final and binding on all parties.

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Contact Us for More Information

We hope this information about Seattle and King County Public Health’s new COVID-19 portal is helpful, to you or your friends and family members.

If you have any questions, either before filing a claim or if a claim should be denied, please feel free to contact our firm for assistance. We offer a free case analysis, and would be happy to discuss the circumstances you are facing with you.

DLI News: Coronavirus On The Job

Governor Jay Inslee and and L&I Director Joel Sacks issued a press release concerning the Department’s policy on workers’ compensation coverage related to exposures to Coronavirus on the job.

The primary news is for health care workers and first responders who are quarantined by a physician or public health officer.  Under the clarified policy, workers’ compensation benefits must be provided benefits to these workers during the time they’re quarantined after being exposed to COVID-19 on the job.  The policy also applies to others who may have accepted claims for exposure to COVID-19; for example, those who are not considered health care workers but are working in facilities with documented exposures or others whose claims may be approved.

As a reminder, answers to the following questions must be considered for workers who file claims and are not working in jobs or at facilities where exposure would be routinely expected:

Was there an increased risk or greater likelihood of exposure or contracting the disease due to the worker’s occupation (first responders or health care workers)?

If not for their job, would the worker have been exposed or contracted the condition?

Can the worker identify a specific source or event during their employment that resulted in exposure to COVID-19/Coronavirus on the job?

When exposure to or contraction of the disease is incidental to the workplace or common to all employment (for example, an office worker who may have been exposed through a fellow employee, or a waitress through a customer), the claim will likely be denied.

How to File, and What to Do if Your Claim is Denied

Our suggestion to those that are diagnosed with COVID-19, and believe that they were exposed to the Coronavirus on the job, especially as a healthcare worker or first responder, is to file a claim with the Department of Labor and Industries. A claim can be:

  • Filed online
  • By phone: 1-877-561-FILE (3453)
  • At your doctor’s office (if you complete the Report of Accident at your doctor’s office, the doctor files the form for you)

You can watch a DLI video that describes the process for filing a claim if you need more information about the process.

As with any claim decision, the Department of Labor and Industries will issue an Order and Notice stating that your claim was denied. You have sixty (60) days within which to file a written protest or appeal if you disagree with the decision. A protest can be faxed, mailed or submitted to the Department online. If no protest or appeal is filed within 60 days from the date you received the order, the decision becomes final and binding on all parties.

If you have questions or if your claim should be denied, please feel free to contact our firm for assistance. We offer a free case analysis, and would be happy to discuss the circumstances you are facing with you.

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