Does Workers’ Compensation Cover a Bad Reaction to the Coronavirus Vaccine?April 7, 2021
Employees may wonder whether a bad reaction to a Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine will be covered by Workers’ Compensation. Typically, employers will work with a health care provider or some other authorized entity to actually administer the vaccine. What makes the issue more complicated is that these vaccines are new, and laws are still developing. Typical coverage considerations may include whether the following occurred:
- The vaccine is required, voluntary, or simply encouraged.
- It is administered during personal time or company time.
- It is administered off-site or on company property.
- The employer pays for or provides for the vaccine.
The primary issue is whether the vaccine was voluntary or if it was a condition of employment. If vaccines are administered by a third party and are optional, the employee will not likely be covered in the event of a negative reaction. In this scenario, the employee will likely have to cover any treatment costs themselves. Experts say that it is extremely unlikely that an adverse reaction in this kind of scenario would result in a successful Worker’s Compensation claim. When an employer uses a third party to administer a COVID-19 vaccine without making it a requirement, it may be argued that the employer only provided a convenient option for workers and it is not work-related.
What if the Vaccine is Necessary for My Employment?
While the likelihood of a successful claim decreases if the vaccine is voluntary, when the vaccine benefits the employer and is administered in the course of work, this could change matters. In this scenario, if the shot caused an adverse reaction, it could be argued that the injury is work-related. In fact, some states have Workers’ Compensation statutes that state that injuries arising from vaccines administered as part of a government-sanctioned vaccination program are covered by Workers’ Compensation.
Workers’ Compensation and State Laws
If an employer requires that an employee receives a vaccine in order to maintain their job or to be on work premises and the employee has an adverse reaction, they may be entitled to benefits. It is also important to remember that Workers’ Compensation typically bars all other claims, so an employee would likely be unable to seek any monetary damages in a court case.
Workers’ Compensation coverage provided by employers through third parties varies by state. There are several important factors that an employee could use to support their claim. Some of the strongest arguments include:
- Whether the vaccination that caused the reaction occurred at work.
- Whether the employer paid for the vaccine.
- Whether the employer encouraged the vaccination.
- Whether the employer benefited from the vaccination.
This type of claim is new and complex, so it is crucial for an employee to contact a lawyer if they suspect they are entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits because of an adverse reaction to the vaccine. For help with a claim, an injured worker should speak to a lawyer right away.
Delaware County Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello Help Employees Navigate Complex Work Injury Claims
If you had a bad reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine at work, a Delaware County Workers’ Compensation lawyer at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello can determine if you have a valid claim. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 610-892-4940. Located in Media, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Lancaster, Montgomery County, Norristown, Philadelphia, Reading, and West Chester, Pennsylvania.