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Lawmakers introduce COVID-19 Injured Workers’ Protection Act

Posted On: Jan. 24, 2023 1:17 PM CST


Proposed legislation filed in New York on Wednesday would create a COVID-19 presumption in workers compensation death benefits cases and also amend current comp law concerning temporary benefits.  

Assembly Bill 2145, also known as the COVID-19 Injured Workers’ Protection Act, would establish a COVID-19 presumption for public employee death benefits in cases where employees were required to physically report to work and ended up contracting the virus.

The presumption would apply to cases where the head of a member’s retirement system or a medical board determines that COVID-19 was a significant contributing factor in the worker’s death.

The measure would allow employers to initiate comp payments and payments for prescribed medicine to employees and continue those payments for 60 days at the temporary total disability rate.

The bill proposes to remove language in existing law that requires injured employees to enter into agreements with employers to ensure the continued payments of temporary compensation.   

A.B. 2145 would also amend current law by adding a presumption that treatment rendered by a medical provider for COVID-19 was done so on an emergent basis and did not require prior authorization to quality for comp benefits.

The bill also says that employers who fail within 60 days of the commencement of temporary disability payments to provide notice of termination shall be deemed to be admitting liability and the temporary payments will be converted to a notice of compensation payable.