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Emergency Rule for First Responders and Front-Line Workers

On April 13, 2020, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission enacted an Emergency Amendment to the Rules Governing Practice Before the Commission. The IWCC modified the evidentiary rules to ensure that First Responders and Front-Line Workers, who are most susceptible to exposure to COVID-19, are afforded the full protections of the Workers’ Compensation Act in the event they contract the virus.

The emergency rule creates a rebuttable presumption that during the COVID-19 state of emergency, the exposure to First Responders and Front-Line Workers to the COVID-19 virus is causally connected to the hazards or exposures of their employment. The condition or period of incapacity that ensues will be rebuttably presumed to arise out of their employment.

This emergency rule defines First Responders and Front-Line Workers as any individuals employed as police, fire personnel, emergency medical technicians, or paramedics and all individuals employed and considered as first responders, health care providers engaged in patient care, correctional officers, and the crucial personnel identified under the following headings in Section 1 Part 12 of Executive Order 2020-10 dated March 20, 2020: Stores that sell groceries and medicine; Food, beverage, and cannabis production and agriculture; Organizations that provide charitable and social services; Gas stations and businesses needed for transportation; Financial institutions; Hardware and supplies stores; Critical trades; Mail, post, shipping, logistics, delivery, and pick-up services; Educational institutions; Laundry services; Restaurants for consumption off-premises; Supplies to work from home; Supplies for Essential Businesses and Operations; Transportation; Home-based care and services; Residential facilities and shelters; Professional services; Day care centers for employees exempted by [Executive Order 2020-10]; Manufacture, distribution, and supply chain for critical products and industries; Critical labor union functions; Hotels and motels; and Funeral services.

This emergency rule will help to ensure that workers who contract COVID-19 are protected and receive benefits while they are unable to work.

If you have questions or have contracted COVID-19 and would like more information about whether or not you are covered by this rule please contact Ridge & Downes at 1-800-572-1136 and speak with an attorney.

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