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Oklahoma lawmakers prefiled legislation to be introduced Feb. 1 that would make it easier for first responders who acquire COVID-19 on the job to receive workers compensation.
H.B. 2236 would amend the state’s workers compensation law to create a rebuttable presumption that first responders who acquire COVID-19 did so within the course and scope of their employment. The presumption would apply to any claim filed on or after the effective date of the act and to any claim filed earlier if it was denied and an appeal was filed with the Oklahoma Workers Compensation Commission.
The legislation defines first responders as police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and volunteer firefighters.
If signed into law, the legislation would take effect immediately.
Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready on Wednesday approved a 9.6% decrease in workers compensation insurance loss costs for 2021. Workers comp loss costs have decreased every year for the past decade, marking a 54% decrease in loss costs since 2011.