Working on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic is risky but many find themselves having to put their lives on the line every day for their community. Doctors, surgeons, and nurses are only some of the people who come in contact with people who are carrying the potentially deadly virus. First responders are another group of workers who also come face to face with individuals who are displaying symptoms of COVID-19, have tested positive for it, or are asymptomatic.
Because frontline workers such as health care professionals and first responders are at a heightened risk of contracting the virus, most would assume that if they were to contact it, their employer would ensure they were provided with the proper benefits to aid them with recovery.
Unfortunately, we are learning that many frontline workers who are actively working and contract the COVID-19 virus are being denied workers’ comp benefits after testing positive for the illness. Michael Grant, who is a paramedic with Reedy Creek in Orlando, is one worker who has struggled to obtain workers’ comp benefits after he believes he contracted COVID-19 while on the job.
Click Orlando says that Grant has been working with Reedy Creek since 2018 and “tested positive with the virus “on the job” on July 3rd.” As per recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Grant quarantined at home for 14 days. Grant told the source that he quickly lost his sense of taste and smell and grew concerned because he has a three-year-old and seven-year-old at home. After Grant sought workers’ comp benefits simply because he believed he had become infected while working as a paramedic, he was denied the coverage.
Instead of having his medical bills paid and receiving a portion of his salary from his employer’s workers’ comp insurance, Grant was forced to use his own personal sick leave so that he could isolate himself and rest as well as reduce the chance of spreading the virus to others. Grant told the source “We’re on the frontlines dealing with COVID every day. For us not being taken care of is a slap in the face.”
The Reedy Creek Improvement District later provided a statement to News 6 acknowledging that if an employee working with the fire department tests positive for COVID-19, they “are sick and can use their sick time.” The Reedy Creek Improvement District also said that first responders are given 144 hours of sick time which is 50 more hours than other non-union employees.
Are you a worker in Miami, FL who had your workers’ comp claim denied?
If your workers’ comp claim was denied, the Miami, FL workers’ compensation lawyers at Mario Trespalacios P.A. would be happy to review with you what your next steps should be. Although your claim was denied, that doesn’t mean you aren’t entitled to benefits. The fact is, insurance companies deny claims regularly because they were either misinterpreted or because the insurer was acting out in bad faith. However, an insurer’s decision to deny a claim can sometimes be reversed when you have a skilled Miami, FL workers’ comp attorney helping you.
To get connected with a workers’ compensation lawyer in Miami, FL now, call 305-261-5800.
Mario Trespalacios P.A. can be contacted at:
9495 SW 72 Street, Suite B-275
Miami, FL 33173