Essential Workers in California Receive Workers’ Comp Benefits


California governor Gavin Newsom just signed an executive order to grant workers’ compensation benefits to essential workers who have been infected by COVID-19. Essential workers include those who have had to work outside of their homes during California’s stay-at-home order. Workers are covered by workers’ comp if they’ve tested positive for COVID-19 within 14 days of their last workday any time after March 19, which is the day the stay-at-home order was issued. Newsom has announced that the order will stay in place for 60 days.

“We are removing a burden for workers on the front lines, who risk their own health and safety to deliver critical services to our fellow Californians, so that they can access benefits, and be able to focus on their recovery,” said Governor Newsom in a written statement. “Workers’ compensation is a critical piece to reopening the state and it will help workers get the care they need to get healthy, and in turn, protect public health.”

Workers’ compensation benefits covered under Governor Newsom’s order include:

  • Temporary disability benefits for up to two years
  • Permanent disability benefits for long-term or permanent injuries or disability caused by COVID-19
  • Death benefits that cover up to $10,000 in funeral expenses and anywhere between $120,000 and $250,000, depending on the number of dependents at the time of death

While California employers typically have 90 days to accept workers’ compensation claims, the order will shorten the amount of time employers have to 30 days in an effort to expedite the processing of benefits.

Among the organizations praising Governor Newsom is the California Applicants’ Attorneys Association (CAAA), whose members represent Californians injured in the workplace.

“Millions of workers across California are battling on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic, risking their lives simply by going to work. These heroes deserve to know they’ll be protected and have the safety net of workers’ compensation to take care of their medical needs if they get infected with the coronavirus,” they said in a released statement.

What Do I Do If My Claim Was Denied?

Even if employees have been injured on the job, it’s fairly common for their workers’ compensation benefits to be denied. However, this doesn’t mean that you’re out of options. Individuals are allowed to file an appeal to ask the California Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board for a reconsideration. It’s important that you hire a workers’ comp attorney who can assess your denied application, determine why it was denied, and then gather the additional evidence you need to argue for the benefits you deserve.

Workers’ compensation claims can be denied for the following reasons:

  • Whether your injuries exist is disputed
  • When or where you sustained your injuries is disputed
  • You lack evidence to prove that your injury occurred while you were working
  • A health provider determined you’re not disabled as a result of a work injury
  • Your injury was caused by a preexisting condition unrelated to work

Our team is available to help using our resources and experience achieving benefits for countless other clients.

Looking Out for Our California Clients

Our workers’ compensation lawyer has practiced in California for years and fully understands our state laws and regulations as they pertain to workplace injuries. He’s helped countless clients file for workers’ comp and has defended them when employers and insurance companies have attempted to avoid granting them benefits. We’re proud to have represented all kinds of employees, from construction workers to first responders, and we believe that all injured workers in California deserve to receive help when they need it. Our team strives for optimal results through settlements, but when a settlement isn’t an option, he can employ his litigation skills. When you work with Leigh Law Firm, your needs come first, always.

Contact Leigh Law Firm online or by phone at (619) 473-7569 for a free consultation if you’ve been injured in a work-related accident. Our team can help you pursue the compensation you deserve from employers through compassionate legal representation.