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Washington Workers’ Compensation Presumptive COVID-19 Coverage For Health Care And Frontline Workers

Washington Workers’ Compensation Presumptive COVID-19 Coverage for Health Care and Frontline Workers

New laws apply to health care and frontline workers during public health emergencies involving infectious or contagious diseases, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Health care and frontline workers who test positive for COVID-19 are presumed to have been exposed at work, and are eligible to file workers’ compensation claims with the Department of Labor and Industries. Health care workers who do not contract the disease but are required (by a medical provider or public health official) to quarantine due to an exposure are also eligible for benefits. Qualified workers are eligible for medical, disability, and temporary wage replacement benefits.

Presumptive COVID-19 Coverage Dates

  • Health Care Workers – Beginning February 29, 2020
  • Frontline Workers – Beginning May 11, 2021

Who is a health care worker under this law?

A health care worker is a worker at any health care facility or other organization that provides emergency or medical services and who has or likely has had direct contact with any person who has been exposed or tested positive to the disease.

Who is a frontline worker under this law?

Frontline workers are those who interact with the general public or other employees in the course of their work during the public health emergency. The list includes:

  • First Responders
  • Workers performing food processing, manufacturing, distribution or meat packing
  • Maintenance, janitorial and food service workers at any facility treating patients
  • Public transit drivers and operators
  • Employees of hotels, motels, or other transient accommodation
  • Certified home care aides who work primarily in the home of individuals receiving care
  • Certain school district and higher education employees
  • Farmworkers
  • Hospital, health care facility, nursing home and assisted living facility workers
  • Employees of retail stores, which remain open to the public during the emergency
  • Employees of licensed child care facilities
  • Restaurant employees who have contact with the public or co-workers
  • Corrections officers and support employees working at a correctional institution
  • Public library employees

How can you help?

  • Inform your patients who may qualify
  • Share presumptive COVID-19 coverage information with your staff and peers

Learn More:

Learn more from Labor and Industries about filing a claim, benefits and other FAQs at Send questions to L&I directly at

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