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Of the 1,077 workers compensation COVID-19-related claims filed before April 30 in California, 35% were denied and of those 69.7% involved negative tests for the virus, according to a white paper released Thursday by the California Workers’ Compensation Institute.
The Oakland-based institute used data from a survey of 28 insurer and self-insured CWCI members, gathered a week before Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order making the virus a compensable workers compensation injury under rebuttable presumption for workers who test positive.
The study also found that the remaining 29.3% of denials were made after the employer found that the employee had not been exposed at work, or for other reasons including the lack of a diagnosis, lack of symptoms, or that the employee had been working at home or refused to take a COVID-19 test.
Employers surveyed also provided details about “confusion” over when and whether to report a suspected COVID-19 illness, as some respondents reported instances in which claims were filed for groups of workers without symptoms or positive tests because a co-worker had reported symptoms.
More insurance and workers compensation news on the coronavirus crisis here.