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Home  »  Worker's Compensation   »   California Insurance Commissioner: ‘All Workers Affected by COVID-19 Eligible for Workers’ Compensation Benefits, Regardless of Immigration Status’

California Insurance Commissioner: ‘All Workers Affected by COVID-19 Eligible for Workers’ Compensation Benefits, Regardless of Immigration Status’

Apr 23, 2020

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, California Insurance Commissioner, Ricardo Lara, issued an alert to insurance companies earlier this month confirming that all workers affected by COVID-19 are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, regardless of their immigration status. All workers impacted by coronavirus on the job, including undocumented immigrants, are now eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, and can file a claim immediately. This eligibility/coverage extends to essential front-line workers in fields such as health care, emergency services, food production, sales, and delivery, among others.

The notice from the Insurance Commission states that, “Workers’ compensation injuries caused by COVID-19 that arise out of and occur in the course of employment are compensable to the same extent as any other compensable injury or disease. This Notice is a reminder that such claims may not be denied on the basis of the injured worker’s immigration status.”

“This unprecedented pandemic has sparked questions and concerns among essential workers in the immigrant community who are showing up for work every day, bringing us vital goods and services,” Commissioner Lara said via public statement. “Hard-working Californians who are exposed to COVID-19 are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if they fall ill, regardless of their immigration status.”

Moreover, California Labor Federation Executive Secretary/Treasurer, Art Pulaski, issued a statement in support of Lara. “During this pandemic, essential workers face great risk to their health every time they clock in,” he said. “If they are injured or get sick at work, they should know they can rely on workers’ compensation to provide the health care and benefits they need, regardless of immigration status. We commend Commissioner Lara for standing up for the workers who are among the most vulnerable in this time of crisis.”

Lara’s action further clarifies Governor Gavin Newsom’s March 12 executive order, which declared that workers may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if they were exposed to or contracted COVID-19 on the job.

Additionally, earlier this week one of California’s largest workers’ compensation insurance companies, the State Compensation Insurance Fund, announced that it will pay COVID-19 medical costs and income losses for employees at essential businesses that it covers, regardless of whether workers contracted the illness at work or not. This move on the part of the State Compensation Insurance Fund could signal an impending trend in the workers’ compensation insurance industry.

Dordulian Law Group has specialized in workers’ compensation law for over 20 years, and we have recovered over $50 million for our clients. Our trial success rate is over 90%, and we have experience trying hundreds of cases resulting from all types of claims — whatever your workplace injury or illness entails, we’ve successfully represented clients just like you. Our workers’ compensation division is headed by high-profile attorney Charles Rondeau, a certified workers’ comp specialist with over 25 years of experience fighting for injured workers. 

If you have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic please contact us today for a free consultation. We will fight to secure the greatest financial award for your workers’ compensation claim. 

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