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Can coronavirus infections be categorized as workplace accidents?

CM 25/05/2021

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Coronavirus infections have officially been recognized as a workplace accident in Israel, after a woman who contracted coronavirus while in the workplace was granted compensation by the Israeli government in the form of a fixed monthly benefit.The woman, who has suffered side effects as a result of the disease, will be receiving a permanent disability percentage that will provide her with monthly payments for life after filing a case with Israel’s National Insurance Institute.The momentous ruling resulted in the woman being recognized by Bituach Leumi for being the victim of a work accident.More than 800,000 Israelis have contracted coronavirus since the onset of the pandemic, of which hundreds and possibly even thousands have contracted in the workplace or on the way to and from it. Beyond the not-so-simple disease itself, the violent virus also leaves side effects that impair daily functioning and ability to work.”If you are injured while working or on the way to it, you should know what your rights are,” said lawyer Imbar Golan Partosh, who represented the woman before the medical committee. “Coronavirus victims infected at work are entitled to compensation.”Partosh’s office noted that her firm is currently attending to similar cases of coronavirus victims being infected in the workplace.More than a year has passed since the coronavirus crept into our lives, however, there are quite a few question marks and uncertainties surrounding the virus and the long term effects that accompany the disease. At the same time, we already know that in many cases, even after recovery, there is an impairment in daily functioning – an injury that can be significant to carrying on with daily life.

Medical experts state that one in three coronavirus patients will suffer from long-term effects of COVID-19. Mainly impairments to muscle tissue resulting in weakness, difficulty performing simple operations, damage to the lungs or difficulty breathing, joint pain, chest pain, etc.Because the corona affects a variety of organs and systems in the body, including the heart and blood vessels, the immune system, the liver, the nervous system, the kidneys and more, the researchers do not rule out the possibility that further medical problems will be discovered later on.As aforementioned, the National Insurance Institute recognizes coronavirus infections in the workplace as a work accident. However, determining the exact percentage of disability for anyone suffering from long term COVID-19 effects depends on how the case is presented to the medical committee. Representation of an attorney with relevant experience assists in the exercise of the rights and in obtaining the financial assistance necessary for rehabilitation.This article originally appeared in Maariv, and was translated into English by Zachary Keyser.
Source: Jerusalem Post

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