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If You Are Laid Off Because of COVID-19, Do You Qualify for Workers’ Compensation?

If You Are Laid Off Because of COVID-19, Do You Qualify for Workers’ Compensation?


You may qualify for workers’ comp after a layoff due to COVID-19, but the answer will depend on your circumstances. If you were already receiving benefits at the time of coronavirus-related layoffs, in most cases you should continue to receive those benefits.

The global coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has had a significant impact on nearly every aspect of life in the U.S. Many are worried about contracting COVID-19 themselves, or of exposing loved ones who may be at a greater risk of contracting the virus. In response to these fears and in compliance with Illinois’ stay-at-home order, companies across the state have had to make drastic and sudden changes to their regular operations, with some temporarily shuttering their doors completely and others reducing business hours and the number of employees who can work.

During these uncertain times, some will want to know: if you are laid off because of COVID-19, do you qualify for workers’ compensation? Keep reading for some insight on COVID-19 and workers’ compensation from the Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys at Rubens Kress & Mulholland.

COVID-19 and Workers’ Compensation in Illinois: Who Qualifies?

There are two situations in which you may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits after being laid off due to COVID-19:

  1. If you are already receiving workers’ compensation benefits because your doctor is keeping you off work and you get laid off due to COVID-19 — or for other reasons — then you are likely to be eligible to continue receiving workers’ comp benefits.
  2. If you have a workers’ compensation case, have light duty restrictions that your employer is accommodating, and then get laid off due to COVID-19 or any other circumstance, it is likely.

For example, if you’re receiving Illinois workers’ comp benefits, but are then told by your employer that your entire division or department is being laid off due to coronavirus concerns, you should be able to continue receiving your benefits. This is true whether you were being kept off of work due to your injury or if your employer had assigned you to light-duty to accommodate your limitations.

In other words, if you were already receiving Illinois workers’ compensation prior to coronavirus-related layoffs, your benefits should continue in most cases.

If you were laid off because of COVID-19 and are unsure whether you qualify for workers’ compensation, or if your employer attempts to rescind your benefits, it’s best to consult with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer to get a professional case review. An attorney can provide you with the most educated and in-depth answers to the various questions you may have about workers’ comp as you face this unpredictable time in your life.

Rubens Kress & Mulholland Can Advocate for You During the Coronavirus Crisis

The Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys at Rubens Kress & Mulholland are passionate about advocating for workers across Illinois, and we remain available to assist you amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Our team cares about your health and safety, so we are offering remote methods of communication via phone, email, and DocuSign (an electronic agreement management system). To get started with a free consultation, we invite you to contact us online or call us toll-free at 866-890-9640.

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