There hasn’t been a ton of good news lately, so we will take what we can get. Typically when you get injured or ill from your job, you have to prove that those problems are work related. The other day, Governor Pritzker changed that for certain essential workers. This is actually a very big deal.
Per the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, if you are a first responder or front line worker, and you say that you got Coronavirus from the job, it will be automatically assumed that you are telling the truth and that it is correct. It’s a very big deal, because even if you are around a lot of people all day, you can likely never say for sure where you got the virus. As a result, you will automatically get work comp benefits which means 100% of your medical bills will be paid for and all of your time off work will be compensated. You will also be eligible for a settlement.
Those covered include health care workers, police and fire personnel, corrections officers, grocery store workers and food producers. We’ve heard nightmare stories of some workers not wanting to go to the doctor because they don’t want to be stuck with a big bill. That should no longer be a concern. These workers have all been heroes. There have been stories about some hospitals arguing with nurses about where exactly they got exposed. This ruling puts an end to that nonsense.
It of course makes perfect sense. Why should an EMT have to worry about paying their bills if they get sick in the line of duty. If cashiers and stockers are keeping grocery stores open, they deserve to be protected.
Not surprisingly, allegedly “pro-business” groups came out against this. Unfortunately they don’t understand that being pro worker is good for a business. But who cares what they think? I sure don’t.
Please note that this is not a permanent order. It’s effective for 150 days from April 10th. It’s also possible the order will get extended or shortened, but I don’t see that happening any time soon.
Like this pandemic itself, this is a very fluid and fast changing time. If you are reading this a month from now, things may be drastically different. As always, no matter what your concern is, we will talk to you for free no matter where in Illinois you are. Call us at 312-346-5578 any time.