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Utah COVID-19 Claims Reporting

Workers' Compensation and COVID-19 Legal Seminar 7/16/20
An employee who tests positive for COVID-19 may be entitled to occupational disease benefits if they can establish that they contracted the virus at work. The employee must report an occupational disease to their employer within 180 days after they first miss work due to the disease and suspect it was contracted at work. A claim for occupational disease benefits must be made by completing an Employer’s First Report of Injury or Illness form (form 122e) or by filing the claim online here
Utah Code §34A-3-201 to 206 provides that a first responder who is diagnosed with COVID-19 is presumed to have contracted the virus while performing their first responder duties. First responder, as defined in the statute, includes law enforcement and correctional officers, emergency medical technicians and paramedics, firefighters, and healthcare employees. For more details about which employees are considered first responders, please refer to HB5006. The first responder presumption can be rebutted by establishing that the virus was not contracted while performing first responder duties.      
Just as with any other claim for an industrial injury or occupational disease, there must be a good faith and thorough investigation of the facts and a review of the state of the disease at the time and place of the alleged exposure. It is important to file a claim if an employee presents a positive COVID-19 test and states to you that they feel there is a probability they were exposed at work.
If all the necessary forms are filed in a timely manner, the mere fact that a claim has been filed does not mean it is compensable. WCF Mutual Insurance Company will investigate all claims and decide the compensability in accordance with the applicable Utah laws and the circumstances of each claim.
The information provided above or on wcf.com is for informational 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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