COVID-19 presumptions lose steam among lawmakers

Despite the strong push for COVID-19 workers compensation presumptions in the early stages of the pandemic, fewer than half of the 18 states that enacted legislation or saw executive orders still have the provisions in place, according to a report released Wednesday by the National Council on Compensation Insurance.

Seven states still had a COVID-19 or infectious disease presumption in effect as of June 1, according to the report, which noted that 12 presumptions have expired and three others are slated to expire in 2023.

Meanwhile, five states considered legislation in 2022 to extend the presumption that a COVID-19 illness was contracted at work, with mixed results. Three states — Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island—have legislation pending, and bills failed in Florida and Maryland.

Five states proposed legislation to create workers compensation presumptions that could be applicable beyond the current COVID-19 pandemic.

According to NCCI, “these types of proposals may specifically mention COVID-19, but also contain terms such as ‘infectious disease,’ ‘COVID-19 or similar disease,’ or ‘other future qualifying pandemic.’ And they might not include sunset provisions or expiration dates.”

Three states have such legislation pending: California, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Similar bills failed in Florida and Missouri, NCCI reported.

This article was first published in Business Insurance.

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