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WORKERS COMPENSATION UPDATE

In response to COVID-19, a number of worker’s compensation related updates and announcements have been made recently, including:

  • BWC is still processing claims. BWC medical exams are suspended.
  • Ongoing compensation will continue, even without new medical evidence, to April 30th. Job search requirements are suspended.
  • BWC will temporarily permit certain telemedicine visits without prior authorization.
  • Unpaid BWC premiums for March, April, and May can be deferred until June 1st. BWC will not cancel coverage or assess penalties for amounts unpaid because of the pandemic.
  • The Industrial Commission is holding telephone hearings on limited issues until further notice.
  • B. No. 571 proposes to make COVID-19 a scheduled occupational disease for peace officers, firefighters, and emergency medical workers with a rebuttable presumption that the virus was contracted in the course and scope of employment. This change applies only to claims arising during the current emergency and the 14-day period after it ends.
  • OSHA has announced that any incidents of employees contracting the novel coronavirus at work are recordable illnesses (common colds and flu are not recordable)

Please contact Mike Bertsch at [email protected] or Kathy Gee at [email protected] for clarification and/or more information about these temporary changes.