If you were injured or became sick because of your job in Nevada, you could be eligible to receive workers' compensation benefits, including medical treatment and compensation for lost wages. This article explains how the most important workers’ comp benefits are calculated in Nevada and how much you might receive. (To get these benefits, you will need to file a workers’ compensation claim and show that your injury or illness is work related.)
Can You Get Workers' Comp in Nevada for COVID-19?
If you're a healthcare worker, emergency medical technician, police officer, or firefighter, you might be able to receive workers' comp benefits if you get COVID-19 after being exposed to the coronavirus at work. Under Nevada law, exposure to a contagious disease is considered an accidental work-related injury if that exposure happens while you're providing medical services (including emergency medical care) in the course of your job, or while you're performing your duties as a police officer or firefighter.
If you aren't employed in one of these occupations, it would probably be extraordinarily difficult to get workers' comp benefits for COVID-19. Under Nevada's general requirements for a contagious illness to be treated as an occupational disease, you must:
- provide evidence showing that you were were exposed to the illness on the job
- report the exposure promptly and test negative to the disease within 72 hours after exposure, and
- test positive after the incubation period for the illness.
(Nev. Rev. Stat. §§ 616A.265, 617.481 (2020).)
In Nevada, temporary disability benefits are paid to workers who need to take more than five days off work due to their injuries. (Nev. Rev. Stat. § 616C.400 (2020).)
Temporary total disability (TTD) benefits are two-thirds of your average monthly wage, up to maximum amount that's adjusted every year. For injuries that happen during the year beginning July 1, 2020, the maximum benefit is $4,183.82 per month.
You'll continue to receive TTD benefits until you're able to return to work, your employer has offered you modified work that accommodates any restrictions you have, or your condition has stabilized to the point that you aren't likely to improve even with further medical treatment. (Nev. Rev. Stat. §§ 616A.065, 616C.475 (2020).)
You may receive temporary partial disability benefits if you’re able to work but are earning significantly less than usual due to your injury. In Nevada, these benefits amount to the difference between what you would receive for TTD and what you're actually earning.
For example, suppose you normally earn $3,000 per month, but after your injury, you’re earning only $1,500 a month. If you weren’t able to work at all, your TTD rate would be $2,000 (two-thirds of $3,000), so your temporary partial disability benefits would be $500 per month ($2,000–$1,500).
Nevada places a 24-month cap on temporary partial disability benefits. (Nev. Rev. Stat. § 616C.500 (2020).)
Once your medical treatment is complete, a doctor will evaluate you to determine if your work-related injury or illness has left you with any permanent impairment and, if so, to what extent.
If the doctor finds that you have a permanent partial disability, you will be assigned a permanent impairment rating, stated as a percentage. For each percent of impairment, you will receive 0.6% of your average monthly wage at the time of your injury. For example, suppose you have 10% impairment, and your average monthly wage is $2,400. Your permanent partial disability award would be calculated as follows: (.006) x $2,400 x 10 = $144 per month.
Permanent partial benefits start once TTD benefits end, and they will continue for five years or until you turn 70, whichever happens later. (Nev. Rev. Stat. § 616C.490 (2020).)
If the doctor determines that you are permanently and totally disabled, you will continue to receive monthly payments at your TTD rate for as long as the disability continues. Certain injuries—such as total loss of sight and amputation or permanent paralysis of two limbs—are automatically considered to be permanently and totally disabling, unless proven otherwise. (Nev. Rev. Stat. §§ 616.435, 616.440 (2020).)
Nevada workers’ compensation also provides additional benefits, including:
If your Nevada workers' comp claim is denied or the insurance company isn't promptly paying all of the benefits you deserve, it would be a good idea to contact a Nevada workers' comp lawyer. An attorney who's experienced in this area can evaluate your claim and help ensure that you receive the proper compensation. To learn more, see our page on hiring a workers' comp lawyer.