While California has not provided detailed statistics yet, we have some interesting COVID-19 claim information from Texas and Florida which likely sheds light on California’s experiences with COVID-19 claims.
In Texas, approximately 50% of all COVID-19 claims were filed by first responders, police officers, firefighters, and ambulance workers. The next most common group for filing COVID-19 claims were correctional officers and health care workers.
In Florida, protective service workers (first responders) make up approximately 34% of the COVID-19 claims with health care workers making up about 25%. Florida does have a presumption law for their first responders only.
Workers' comp denial rates are high for first responders
Sadly, the denial rate for the claims filed by these hero workers in Florida and Texas remains about the same, 45% or 4 1/2 out of every 10 claims filed. In Florida, 31% of first responders and 42% of health care workers have had their claims denied. Texas does not have a presumption law regarding where the COVID-19 was contracted, unlike California. In Virginia, only 14% of COVID-19 claims for firefighters and paramedics were accepted.
Since the insurance companies who provide workers' compensation insurance in Texas, Florida and Virginia also provide workers' compensation insurance in California, I would anticipate California’s numbers to not be very different.
As we have noted in previous blogs and FAQs, if you are a peace officer, firefighter, correctional officer, health care worker, or other first responder and you believe you contracted COVID-19 at work, you must file a claim. If your claim is accepted, you should follow up with the appropriate health care professionals on your claim in light of the unknown long term effects of COVID-19. If your claim is denied, you should seek the assistance of attorneys who are well versed in California's workers’ compensation law.
About our law firm
At the law offices of McLaughlin & Sanchez, APC, we have over 50 years of experience in fighting for workers’ rights including for first responders, correctional officers and health care providers. If your COVID-19 claim is denied or you need assistance in filing a claim, the attorneys and staff of McLaughlin & Sanchez, APC are here to assist and can be reached by telephone, email or instant chat on our web page.