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Is COVID Covered Under Workers Comp in Iowa

The coronavirus pandemic (“COVID-19”) and its ongoing impact on the workplace has raised many questions for Iowa’s employees, employers and their insurance carriers. One area that continues to be of concern is whether COVID-19 is covered under Iowa’s Workers Compensation Law.

Iowa Workers Compensation Law

Iowa Workers Compensation Law mandates that most companies must provide medical or indemnity benefits to employees who are injured in the workplace. Injuries can also include occupational diseases that have been contracted due to working conditions. Occupational diseases are defined as illnesses or conditions that result from the nature of an employee’s work or work environment, such asbestos inhalation.

The definition begs the question: Is COVID Covered Under Workers Comp in Iowa?

What is required to prove a COVID-19 claim?

Few existing Iowa workers compensation cases address compensation from contracting any type of virus, including coronavirus. From a workers compensation standpoint, a positive test result for COVID-19 is similar to a diagnosis of the flu virus. Due to its prevalence outside the workplace, a direct connection between work and the contraction of the virus can be difficult to prove unless the employee has an occupation, such as health care, where medical causation may be more certain.

Filing a workers compensation claim in Iowa pertaining to COVID-19 does require the claimant to satisfy the burden of proof. In other words, the employee must prove they have been in direct contact with a person infected with COVID-19 through their employment and developed symptoms within 2-14 days of contact that resulted in a positive COVID-19 test. As COVID-19 has become more prevalent, is has become more common to associate contraction with community spread.

When to file a workers compensation claim

Iowa Workers Compensation Law does allow employees to file a workers compensation claim if serious residual injury requires medical treatment or death occurs due to COVID-19 complications.

In some cases, worsened symptoms for employees who contracted COVID-19 may result in a work-related injury, and therefore, may also be compensable.

Contact us

Carpenter Law Firm specializes in workers compensation and personal injury cases. Our team continues to review the changing regulations around the COVID-19 pandemic for Iowa’s workers. Contact us to schedule a free consultation regarding your specific situation. Give us a call at (515) 244-9907 or use the form on our contact page.