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A bill that would create a presumption for workers compensation claims for certain workers in Virginia who contract COVID-19 has been sent to Gov. Ralph Northam.
The state House on Tuesday passed S.B. 1375 after the state Senate passed the measure on Feb. 4 — both passing the bill overwhelmingly with only one lawmaker absent from voting.
The bill establishes a presumption that COVID-19 “causing the death or disability of firefighters, emergency medical services personnel, law-enforcement officers, and correctional officers is an occupational disease compensable under the Workers’ Compensation Act.” Illness is compensable “unless such presumption is overcome by a preponderance of competent evidence to the contrary.”
The claimant must have a diagnosis of COVID-19 from a licensed physician, after either a presumptive positive test or a laboratory-confirmed test for COVID-19, and presented with signs and symptoms of COVID-19 that required medical treatment, according to the bill.
The bill states that the presumption would apply to death or disability occurring on or after March 12, 2020, and prior to Dec. 31 of this year.
More insurance and workers compensation news on the coronavirus crisis here.
A Virginia lawmaker prefiled legislation on Monday to make it easier for first responder, front-line health care workers and teachers to obtain workers compensation if they contract COVID-19 on the job.