COVID-19 and Workers’ Compensation: What Happens After a Layoff?

by Karl Voigt

Just last week, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, over 3 million workers nationwide were laid off due to mandatory or economic employer closings. And more people are expected to file in the upcoming weeks. While we all hope for a quick resolution to the crisis, there is some remedy for injured workers who returned to work with continued limitations and were subsequently laid off.

In such a situation, workers’ compensation wage loss benefits should indeed be reinstated. The rationale behind this rule is that, if your earnings loss recurs through essentially no fault of your own, you should be paid by the workers’ compensation insurance company. Any rule to the contrary would be patently unfair to injured workers, because an employer could hypothetically take somebody back to work at modified duties, then lay them off and not expect to have to pay workers’ compensation benefits. Hence this rule.

If you have indeed been laid off while working with work-injury-related restrictions, you should indeed act to have your workers’ compensation wage loss benefits reinstated.

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