Florida COVID Workers’ Comp Claims Spike

The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) has recently reported that Florida is among the states with the most COVID-19 workers’ compensation filings. Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, and New Jersey are also among the top five states with comparatively high coronavirus workers’ comp filings.

Based on the NCCI findings, Florida has 300+ coronavirus-related claims for every 100,000 “active claims.” Under insurance definitions, an active claim is one that has progressed to the point of the claimant receiving medical treatment for their injury or illness at least once. In comparison, the average among all states is at about 200 such cases, which means Florida is reporting cases 50% more often than most other states.

The data that NCCI used is also limited to the first half of the year as more information is compiled and verified. It is possible that the five states with the most COVID-19 workers’ compensation cases in all of 2020 could look differently.

What Workers Are Affected the Most?

Approximately 70% of the COVID-related workers’ comp claims filed in Florida in the first six months of 2020 were filed by female workers. The inordinate amount is believed to be caused by the fact that nurses and nursing home caretakers are among the occupations most at risk of workplace exposure to the virus, and both of these industries are predominantly female in the state. Nearly 90% of such workers in Florida are women, so the NCCI data is likely in line with statistical expectations.

Coronavirus Cases Sending Workers to the Hospital

The NCCI found that 20% of the active claims used in their study involved a worker who was hospitalized for coronavirus symptoms. Overall, about 4% of those active claimants needed ICU or ventilator treatments. The average hospital stay was 9.5 days.

This information is especially concerning as it again underlines the danger the coronavirus presents. With this information, it can be assessed that someone who is diagnosed with coronavirus symptoms has a 1-in-5 chance of needing hospitalization. 4 out of every 100 people will need ICU care and could be at a heightened risk of severe permanent side effects or death.

Of special note, NCCI data showed that about 16% of all workers’ comp claimants who filed after receiving a coronavirus diagnosis had comorbid conditions, such as another chronic health condition that could make them more susceptible to the virus. When considering those who filed a workers’ comp claim for another reason, comorbidities were found in just 5% of cases. This data point could show that coronavirus symptoms are three times more likely to worsen or manifest in people with comorbid conditions, but further study will be required to reach a solid conclusion.

To learn more about how the coronavirus is affecting workers and workers’ comp claims in Florida, you can click here to read a full article from CBS Miami. If you need help obtaining workers’ comp benefits after being diagnosed with COVID-19 or after any other work-related injury, you can reach out to Van Dingenen LawOur attorneys help clients throughout Orlando and Central Florida get the help they need and deserve. Contact us now at (407) 967-5377 for a free consultation.

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