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Governor suggests change to COVID-19 presumption bill

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam declined to sign a bill that would create a presumption for workers compensation claims for certain workers who contract COVID-19 and instead recommended that claims after July 1, 2020, be compensable rather than Sept. 1, 2020, as stipulated in the bill.

Both the Virginia House and Senate passed S.B. 1375 in February, giving the governor until March 31 to sign the measure.

The bill creates 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.”

The presumption would expire Dec. 31, 2021.

Gov. Northam on Tuesday signed into law H.B. 1818, which adds “salaried or volunteer emergency medical services personnel” to an already existing workers comp presumption for death or disability from respiratory disease, hypertension or heart disease, and cancer suffered by first responders. The law goes into effect July 1.

More insurance and workers compensation news on the coronavirus crisis here



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