The Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) recently announced that workers who acquired work-related Covid19 could claim benefits under the Employees’ Compensation Program regardless of whether they were hospitalized or not.
“This is to answer the questions of workers who suffered from Covid due to work but they were not confined in hospitals,” ECC Executive Director Stella Zipagan-Banawis said.
The ECC has been granting claims for work-related Covid19 since 2020 under the “increased risk” theory where an illness can be compensable provided that it can be shown by substantial evidence that the illness is caused by factors inherent in the worker’s nature of work or his/her working conditions. On April 6, 2021, ECC approved Board Resolution No. 21-04-14, which included Covid19 in its list of occupational and work-related disease.
“As the number of workers who suffered from Covid19 continues to rise, we want to remind everyone that Covid19 could be compensable regardless of its severity and whether the worker was hospitalized, recovered in a quarantine facility, or underwent home isolation,” said Director Banawis. “We also emphasize that ECP benefits is over and above the benefits provided by PhilHealth, the Social Security System (SSS) and Government Service Insurance System (GSIS). And, employees need not exhaust their sick leave credits to avail EC benefits.”
Under the EC Program, workers who acquired Covid19 due to work could claim EC benefits such as EC daily sickness, medical and disability benefits. Qualified dependents of workers who died due to work-related Covid19, on the other hand, could claim EC death with funeral benefits. Applications for EC claims are filed at the Social Security System (SSS) for private sector employees and at the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) for government sector employees.
J. Romasanta – REU4A