On Thursday, April 9, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear signed an executive order granting temporary total disability payments to employees unable to work due to COVID-19 exposure. Though these benefits only applied to health care workers initially, the new update includes other essential workers whose lives are at risk while their jobs remain in demand. Eligible employees will now be able to file for benefits if they were ordered by a doctor to stop going to work due to the coronavirus.
Of these workers, La Tasha Buckner, the Governor’s chief of staff, said: “This is a group of people who have been on the front lines...now we have a larger category of people who are required because of their jobs to have a lot of interaction with other people. And because of that they are at a higher risk for COVID exposure.”
The executive order made Kentucky the first U.S. state to grant such benefits to grocery store workers, one of the many professions that have risen to the forefront of American consciousness over the last month or so as vital to our well-being.
Employees also now eligible for workers’ compensation benefits during the pandemic include:
- Child-care providers
- Corrections officers
- First responders
- Military personnel, including activated National Guard
- Postal Service employees
- Shelter and crisis center workers
- State community-based service workers
These workers must prove a connection between their work conditions and their exposure to COVID-19. Their time off work must have been ordered by a physician.
The coronavirus situation is still developing, so it will remain unclear exactly who will be able to file workers’ compensation claims and for what until the stay-at-home orders have ended and things return to normal. For now, our office remains open and fully operational remotely. Reach out to us anytime if you have further questions about workers’ compensation benefits for Kentuckians and check our blog for continued updates on this developing situation.