State resources for workers who miss work due to COVID-19

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Credit: iStock / fizkes

Washington is acting quickly during this state of emergency to ensure supports are avail­able to help workers and families. We believe that hospi­tals should provide affected employees with paid admin­is­tra­tive leave but in the absence of those benefits, there are state resources available.

Available resources through L&I #

  • Workers’ compen­sa­tion will now cover quaran­tined health workers and first responders.
  • Benefits will be provided during the time of quaran­tine after exposure to COVID-19 on the job.
  • Time-loss payments may be allowed for lost wages during the quaran­tine period (up to 14 days).
  • Once a claim is accepted, the insurer will pay for treat­ment of COVID-19. Currently, the only treat­ment for this new coron­avirus is supportive care to help relieve symptoms.
  • The first three days are not paid unless the worker is medically required to remain off work on the 14th day of quarantine.

Learn more.

Paid family and medical leave #

  • Quaran­tine, school closures, and child­care closures are not currently quali­fying events.
  • If you can provide medical certi­fi­ca­tion of COVID-19 (i.e., test results) you may apply for the program – medical certi­fi­ca­tion can be done electronically.
  • Some union members are not eligible for PFML and instead are subject to their collec­tive bargaining agree­ments. This includes unions that have collec­tive bargaining agree­ments that haven’t been re-opened, renego­ti­ated, or have expired since October 19, 2017. Ask your employer or union repre­sen­ta­tive if you are unsure if this applies to you.

Learn more.

Available resources through Employment Security Department #

  • Workers may be eligible to receive unemploy­ment benefits if a worker becomes sick due to COVID-19.
  • Standby will be avail­able for part-time workers as well as full-time workers, if they meet the minimum 680 hours.
  • Workers that are asked to isolate or quaran­tine by a medical profes­sional or public health official as a result of exposure to COVID-19 may receive unemploy­ment benefits and work search require­ments could be waived, so long as they have a return date with their employer. The return to work date can be the date the isola­tion or quaran­tine is lifted.
  • If a worker falls seriously ill and is forced to quit, they cannot collect unemploy­ment benefits while they are seriously ill but may be eligible once they recover and are able and avail­able for work.

Learn more.

Available resources through The Office of the Insurance Commissioner #

  • The Insur­ance Commis­sioner issued an emergency order to Washington state health insurers requiring them to waive copays and deductibles for any consumer requiring testing (www​.doh​.wa​.gov) for coron­avirus (COVID-19).
  • Insurers also must allow a one-time early refill for prescrip­tion drugs and suspend any prior autho­riza­tion require­ment for treat­ment or testing of COVID-19.
  • If an insurer does not have enough medical providers in its network to provide testing and treat­ment for COVID-19, it must allow enrollees to be treated by another provider within a reason­able distance at no additional cost. 

Learn more.

As the outbreak continues to evolve, you can visit the websites for Washington State Depart­ment of Health or Public Health Seattle & King County for the most up to date information.