Police and firefighters and other workers engaged in public health and safety are still dealing with the public face the risk of being exposed to the coronavirus. California’s Labor and Workforce Development Agency recently issued guidance on benefits available to workers who are impacted by the coronavirus, such as workers’ compensation.

Anyone who is unable to do their regular job because of exposure or contracting the coronavirus during their normal work may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. These include temporary disability payment benefits which begin when a physician says that a worker cannot perform their usual job for over three days.

Temporary disability compensation may be paid for up to 104 weeks. Usually, it pays up to two-thirds of gross compensation lost while a worker is recovering from an injury or sickness associated with their work.

California law sets forth the maximum compensation for each week. If a doctor determines that the worker suffered a permanent disability from the illness, the worker may be eligible for medical treatment and additional payments.

These payments stop when the recipient returns to work, the doctor releases the recipient to return to their work, and the physician says that the illness improved as much as it can. Workers do not have to return to their jobs unless their physician approves.

Injured workers may also be eligible for other financial assistance. This includes California and federal programs such as state disability insurance, Social Security disability insurance and unemployment insurance.

Requirements and proceedings may cover filing for workers’ compensation. Sometimes, this may be complex or, in the case of coronavirus, deal with novel issues.  An attorney can help workers with navigating this system and assuring that injured first responder and other workers’ rights are protected.