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Colorado COVID-19 Claims Reporting

Colorado Law

Under Colorado law, it is possible for an employee to make an occupational disease or accidental injury claim for workers’ compensation benefits after contracting COVID-19. If an employee claims to have suffered an occupational disease, the employee will need to prove (a) COVID-19 directly resulted from the employment or the conditions under which work was performed; (b) COVID-19 can be seen as a natural incident of the work due to the nature of the employment; and (c) the employment was the proximate cause of COVID-19. An employee will not qualify for benefits if they were equally exposed to the risk of contracting COVID-19 outside of work. Occupational disease claims may be more common with health care workers and first responders who care for COVID-19 patients and may be at greater risk of contracting COVID-19 than the general public.

Alternatively, if an employee claims to have suffered an accidental injury, the employee must show they were diagnosed with COVID-19 as the result of an unforeseen event arising out of and during the course of their employment. Accidental injury claims may be more common with grocery store workers, school teachers, and other employees who may inadvertently come into contact with the virus.

Reporting Claims

Colorado law places the burden on the employee to show that a COVID-19 diagnosis is work related. As COVID-19 becomes more widespread, it will become more difficult to determine whether an employee contracted the disease at work. Even if you are unsure whether an employee has a valid workers’ compensation claim, you should report the claim by filling out an Employer’s First Report of Injury within 10 days. Once the claim is reported to WCF Insurance here, we will investigate the claim and determine whether it is compensable in accordance with applicable Colorado laws and the circumstances of each claim.

Available Benefits

If WCF Insurance determines that a COVID-19 claim is compensable, the employee will be entitled to all of the benefits available for other workers’ compensation claims, including medical expenses, temporary total disability, permanent partial disability and permanent total disability. Preventive measures, including quarantines and testing to rule out COVID-19, are not covered.

The information provided above or on WCF National Insurance Company’s website are for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. WCF Insurance makes no representations or warranties, express or implied, guarantees, or conditions of compliance with applicable laws or regulations and such compliance is ultimately the responsibility of the employer. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any issue or problem.

 

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