January 22, 2021

New Guidance for WV Workers’ Compensation Claims for COVID-19

On January 19, 2021, the West Virginia Insurance Commissioner, James Doddrill, issued Insurance Bulletin No. 21-01 titled “Workers’ Compensation Claims for COVID-19.”  The Bulletin provides guidance for the filing and processing of workers’ compensation claims for COVID-19.  This Bulletin was necessary as “the COVID-19 pandemic has raised unique concerns and questions regarding the filing and compensability of workers’ compensation claims.”

The Bulletin states that claims for COVID-19 will be investigated by the employer to determine whether the injury occurred in the course and scope of employment.  The Bulletin also states an investigation into the cause of the injury should not be made until the injury is reported to the workers’ compensation carrier.  In addition, employees should not be discouraged from filing workers’ compensation claims for COVID-19.  Finally, the Bulletin provides that COVID-19 claims must be ruled upon with a protestable order, and that not all claims will be held compensable.

A link to Insurance Bulletin No. 21-01 is FOUND HERE.

If you have any questions about how this Bulletin may affect you, please feel free to contact one of the attorneys in our Charleston office at (304) 341-0500.