The latest on workers’ compensation and COVID-19

The impact of COVID-19 on workers’ compensation insurance is a relevant and ever-evolving topic given the recent pandemic. CIRMA understands that with the COVID-19 crisis, comes a great deal of uncertainty. We know that you have questions and we are working diligently to ensure that you receive detailed answers in real-time, whenever possible.

We’re in this together—CIRMA will continue to work closely with our members to respond to any potential claims scenarios. As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, we will also continue to keep our members abreast of any potential changes in their insurance and risk exposures.

We’re here to help.  Each COVID-19 claim has been and will continue to be a top-priority for CIRMA Claim professionals. We’ve established proven workflows and have expedited the COVID-19 claim process to better serve first responders and healthcare employees across the State of Connecticut.

Our primary goal is to make first responders and healthcare employees whole by providing appropriate wage replacement and medical benefits. Thank you for your patience as we all work through these unprecedented times. In the meantime, below provides the latest information regarding frequently asked questions we’ve received on workers’ compensation and COVID-19:  

1. Question:  Will CIRMA provide workers’ compensation benefits to police officers, firefighters, ambulance personnel (paid or volunteer), and applicable healthcare employees if they test positive for COVID-19?

Answer:  Yes–CIRMA will provide benefits to those employees or volunteers listed above who have contracted COVID-19, and it is determined that the illness arose out of and in the course and scope of employment.

Real-World Example:  An employee that tests positive after treating, assisting, transporting, and/or administering care for someone who has a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.

2. Question:  Will volunteer firefighters and ambulance personnel be eligible to receive benefits from CIRMA if they have not been diagnosed with COVID-19, however, have been quarantined due to exposure during the course and scope of employment?

Answer: Yes–CIRMA will provide benefits for medical testing related to COVID-19 and up to 14 days of wage replacement to the extent that they are not covered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) and are not eligible under another form of wage replacement, group health or medical benefits.

Real-World Example: A volunteer firefighter, who is also self-employed and does not have access to sick time or group health insurance, will be eligible to receive medical and wage replacement benefits while quarantined.  

3. Question:  Does CIRMA offer any additional benefits beyond workers’ compensation coverage for fire department personnel?

Answer: Yes–CIRMA provides workers’ compensation pool members additional coverage through a Firefighter and First Responder Accident insurance policy with another carrier, which includes medical benefits, wage replacement, and accident, death and disability benefits for volunteer and paid fire and rescue (EMT) personnel, trainees, junior and auxiliary members, paid ambulance drivers and deputized bystanders who are not members of the organization. Please note benefits and/or coverage depends upon the terms, conditions, and exclusions in the policy at the time of loss.

We will assist our members in filing these claims with the carrier. For your convenience, here are the medical and disability claim forms to get you started.

The information contained within this document should be solely interpreted as preliminary guidance regarding the impact of COVID-19 on workers’ compensation. As with all workers’ compensation claims, CIRMA will continue to make compensability determinations on a claim-by-claim basis.

We’re here to assist in any way we can and will help you understand the details of your workers’ compensation benefits. Have questions you’d like to submit via email to us directly? No problem. Send us an email with your questions, and we’ll respond to you within 24 hours.