So you're in a public-facing job - you absolutely can't work from home - and you are forced to deal with anti-maskers, anti-vaxxers, and everyone in between. What happens if you catch COVID-19 while you're on the job? Are you covered? Can you collect Workers' Comp?

The good news is the short answer is 'yes.'

Depending on the facts, you may receive workers’ compensation benefits in New York State due to
COVID-19 exposure. Employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance to pay benefits to workers who are made ill or injured due to their employment. This is known as a work-related illness or injury. Immigration status is not a factor.

After you submit your claim, your employer's workers' compensation insurance company will review the claim. If they deem it acceptable, they will pay it. If they dispute it, a New York State Workers’ Compensation Board judge will review it. The Board judge will listen to both your side and the company's side and make a decision.

If you, or God-forbid you pass away and your family receives the benefits, they will include:

■ Payment of an injured worker’s medical treatment for a work-related illness or injury.
■ Wage replacement benefits if your illness prevents you from working.
■ Benefits to an employee’s surviving dependents in the event of death.
■ Reimbursement of funeral expenses up to $12,500 in New York City, Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland, and Westchester
counties, and up to $10,500 in the other counties of New York.

You will need to notify your employer of your infection immediately. Then file your claim here. After that, you'll need to see a doctor. You can find more info about the complete steps you will need to take here.  The process should take around 18 days if the insurance company accepts the claim.

If you need any help with this process, call the NYS Workers Compensation Board at (800) 580-6665 or email

The New 96.1 WTSS logo
Get our free mobile app

15 Lowest Paying Jobs in New York State

9 Wealthiest Zip Codes in New York State

The 9 Richest People in New York State

10 Counties in New York With the Highest Poverty Rates

Top 10 Biggest Employers in Buffalo

More From The New 96.1 WTSS