Medical workers and workplace exposure to COVID-19

The pandemic has put enormous pressure on healthcare workers around the world. Front-line medical employees have been especially hard hit by the virus, and many suffer long-term effects of being infected.

Post-viral symptoms can vary widely

The symptoms that medical employees experience, even after testing negative for the virus, cover a wide range. Cognitive deficits, disabling fatigue and pain are just a small portion of what people suffer. For others, the consequence of organ damage and other compromising conditions brought on by the virus make them unable to work.

Demanding duties require stamina

Whether you are a nurse, doctor or aide, work in a hospital or clinic can be physically and mentally demanding. What happens when long-lasting symptoms from the virus you caught doing your job won’t let you go back to work?

Establishing a claim

The determination of whether workers can receive compensation under the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act (NCWCA) is subject to the current laws governing all work injuries. An employee must prove that:

  • There was a higher risk to contract the virus at the workplace than outside work
  • The disease was contracted at the worksite
  • In the alternative, the employee must show that an “accident” (unusual event) at work was responsible for the COVID-19 exposure

Another option that could be a possibility is to file a Social Security disability claim if the disability from COVID is expected to last more than 12 months.  With the pandemic redefining approaches to so many things, including compensation for work exposure that leads to disabling conditions, it is best to contact an attorney experienced in handling workers’ compensation and disability cases.


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