COVID Legal Rights/Essential Documents
April 21, 2020
Hello, and welcome back to another home edition of Legal Tip Tuesday. I’m Vince Quatrini. Today I wanted to do a COVID legal rights in review with you. Let’s start with workers’ compensation. If you’re working in a restricted duty job because of an injury and you are laid off, you are entitled to have your workers’ compensation benefits reinstated. Secondly, if you have contracted COVID in the workplace, you’re entitled to be covered by the workers’ compensation statute. In fact there’s a bill in the legislature as we speak that would provide a presumption to a number of occupations like firemen, policemen, National Guard workers, corrections officers; if they contract COVID, it’s presumed it came from the workplace. Unemployment compensation, there’s no waiting week. Secondly, there’s a $600 supplement from the federal government. Third, it covers gig workers, independent contractors, self-employed.
Be aware, there’s a special portal to use with unemployment so that you can get your application in. Sick leave, two weeks available to many employees now – paid, because of the COVID-19 crisis. Family Medical Leave Act, there is paid coverage under that act for certain individuals in certain occupations, depending on the size of the employer. Discrimination, if you have been discriminated against in the workplace because of COVID-19, you should be protected. The Small Business Association disaster loan of $10,000 is still available, apply for it. The payroll protection act, phase two is coming out. Check with your bank, check with your accountant, see if you can qualify for that coverage. The second part of my conversation today with you is about essential legal documents you need in these scary times. First, you need a will so that you can decide who gets your assets upon death.
Secondly, you need a durable power of attorney, a financial one, for you to designate another individual to act for you. Likewise, you should have a medical durable power of attorney for someone to act for you in a medical circumstance, combined with what we call the living will, where you have given instructions ahead of time on what medical care you want, and what medical care you do not want. So, I invite you to follow our newsletter; we’re putting out a special edition that will cover a lot of these subjects in more detail. And if you aren’t on our mailing list, please get ahold of us so we can get you on it. So, as always, I say to you, stay home, stay safe, stay calm. This is Vince Quatrini for Legal Tip Tuesday.