NOTICE: Since the date of this article, new legislation is pending Governor Pritzker’s signature into law, amending the Illinois Occupational Disease Act to include rebuttable presumptions for workers’ compensation claimants. Please read our article, “COVID-19 Workers’ Compensation Bill: Issues Resolved, Covered Employees Clarified,” published May 28, 2020.
First Responders and Essential Front-Line Employees and Workers Compensation Benefits
In response to COVID-19 Coronavirus, the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission (IWCC) held a recent meeting in which Chairman Michael J. Brennan announced amendments to the Commission’s Rules of Practice. The amendments identify who are included as first responders or essential front-line workers, who receive a rebuttable presumption that claims related to COVID-19 Coronavirus are causally connected to the scope of their employment for purposes of obtaining workers compensation benefits.
Chicago Workers Compensation Attorney Michael V. Favia Can Help you Today (312) 609-6666.
Attorney Michael V. Favia devoted his legal career to several elements of healthcare law including workers’ compensation cases. With decades of experience and a team of well-respected professionals, Michael V. Favia and the attorneys, paralegals, and staff at Michael V. Favia & Associates can help you with workers’ compensation claims for benefits when you or someone you love is injured at work. This article highlights recent amendments to the practice rules at the IWCC, making it easier for first responders and essential front-line workers to receive benefits without needing to prove that their injuries related to COVID-19 Coronavirus were caused by their employment.
The amendments concern evidentiary rules regarding practice before the Commission to protect front-line first responders, ensuring them full protections the Workers Compensation Act. It is well known that healthcare professionals and first responders including police and fire are the most susceptible to contracting COVID-19 Coronavirus because they have increased rates of exposure to the virus in the course of their service.
Rebuttable Presumption that COVID-19 Coronavirus Cases Are Caused by Employment as Front-Line Workers and First Responders
The amendment to rule 9030.70(a)1 provides a rebuttable presumption that first responders and healthcare workers who are injured or incapacitated due to COIVD-19 Coronavirus exposure, that those injuries or incapacitations are caused by their employment and occurred within the scope of their duties as first responders and front-line employees.
This amendment, made on an emergency basis, became effective April 16, 2020.
The rule only applies to first responders or essential front-line workers and the scope of their employment as first responders or essential front-line workers. The rule does not assure benefits to those who self-isolate or self-quarantine because they suspect they were exposed to COVID-19 Coronavirus, rather the rule creates a rebuttable presumption that exposure occurred in the course of their employment.
Definitions of First Responders or Front-Line Workers
Rule 9030.80(a)2 defines first responders or essential front-line workers. The following is a list of the major categories of first responders or essential front-line workers and there may be more workers that are not listed here. You should call the Chicago Workers Compensation Law Firm of Michael V. Favia & Associates with your questions or if you want to file a claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.
- Fire personnel;
- Healthcare providers;
- Crucial personnel;
- Grocery and medical stores;
- Food, beverage, and cannabis production;
- Professional services;
- Hardware stores;
- Mail, postal services, shipping and logistics services;
- Educational institutions,
- Stores selling supplies to work from home;
- Home-based daycare and services;
- Residential shelters;
- Manufacturers and distributors;
- Hotels, motels, and funeral services.
Call Chicago Workers Compensation Attorney Michael V. Favia at the Law Firm of Michael V. Favia & Associates in Chicago and Rolling Meadows for Assistance with COVID-19 Coronavirus Workers Compensation Claims for Benefits (312) 609-6666.