APRIL 13, 2020. COVID-19 UDPATE: ILLINOIS WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION EMERGENCY AMENDMENT FOR FIRST RESPONDERS AND FRONT LINE WORKERS

Today, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission implemented an emergency amendment to its Rules of Evidence. Under this amendment, in any proceeding before the Commission where the petitioner is a COVID-19 First Responder or Front-Line Worker, if the petitioner’s injury or period of incapacity resulted from exposure to the COVID-19 virus during a COVID-19 related state of emergency, the exposure will be rebuttably presumed to have arisen out of and in the course of employment and, further, will be rebuttably presumed to be causally connected to the hazards or exposures of the petitioner’s employment.

The amendment defines “COVID-19 First Responder or Front Line Worker” as anyone employed as police, fire personnel, emergency medical technicians, or paramedics, and all individuals employed and considered as first responders, health care providers engaged in patient care, correction officers, and other “crucial personnel.” Read the full amendment here.

This amendment will make it easier for COVID-19 First Responders and Front Line Workers to obtain workers’ compensation benefits for injuries resulting from exposure to the COVID-19 virus. Under this amendment, a First Responder or Front Line Worker who proves that their injury or period of incapacity resulted from exposure to COVID-19 during the state of emergency will not need to further prove that the exposure arose out of and in the course of employment, or that the injury or period of incapacity was causally connected to the hazards or exposure from the employment.

If you or a loved one are a First Responder or Front Line Worker who has been exposed to the COVID-19 virus in the course of employment, and want to file a workers’ compensation claim, contact us. Our firm greatly appreciates all the sacrifices made by these dedicated professionals, and we will fight to obtain the compensation they rightly deserve.

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