Publications
January 22, 2021 Article

Maine Workers' Comp Alert: WCB Updates Guidance on COVID-19 Reporting and Related Requirements

Maine Workers' Comp Alert

The Maine Workers’ Compensation Board has updated its COVID-19 FAQ with current guidance and reporting requirements. Although the information offered is not legal advice and is not judicially enforceable, it is helpful direction in this ever-changing area of the law.

As a preliminary matter, the WCB notes that adverse reactions to vaccinations for COVID-19 might be considered work-related even if the employer does not specifically require its employees to be vaccinated. Even if an employer does not think an adverse reaction should be covered by workers’ compensation, “The filing of a First Report of Injury with the Workers’ Compensation Board indicates that an employer has some knowledge that an event related to work might have caused an employee to lose at least one day of work. Filing a First Report of Injury does not indicate the employer agrees the injury should be covered as a compensable injury under the Workers’ Compensation Act.”

The following are some helpful questions and answers from the FAQ:

Do I have to file a First Report of Injury if an employee has an adverse reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine?

Answer: If an employer knows or has some knowledge either from the employee or from the circumstances that a COVID-19 vaccination that relates to an employee’s job causes the employee to miss one or more days of work, a First Report of Injury must be filed with the WCB.

How should an insurer report a case involving an adverse reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine to the Board through EDI?

Answer: When submitting a First Report of Injury:

  • Nature of Injury Code (DN0035) should only be populated with code 83 (COVID-19) to report COVID exposures, COVID quarantine, or a positive COVID test result. All other injuries involving COVID-19, including adverse reactions to a vaccine, should be coded in accordance with the remaining nature of injury codes based on the claimed injury/illness.
  • Cause of Injury Code (DN0037) should be populated with code 83 (pandemic) for all injuries/illnesses involving or related to COVID-19 including adverse reactions to a COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Please be sure to include descriptive comments for all First Reports of Injury sent to the Board, e.g. “Claimant experienced a negative reaction to a COVID-19 vaccination."

The WCB periodically updates their guidance FAQ, which can be found here. We will continue to monitor this issue and provide insight as it develops.

Firm Highlights

Publication

Maine Workers' Comp Alert: Appellate Division Affirms Burden of Proof in Death Presumption

WC Appellate Division Affirms Placement of Burden of Proof on Employer to Disprove Facts Presumed Under the Death Presumption A recent decision from the Appellate Division centers on the burden of proof in the...

Publication

How to Avoid Misclassifying Your Employees Under the Maine Workers’ Compensation Act

What criteria are necessary to classify someone as an independent contractor and how can employers avoid misclassification and the repercussions that come with it? In this article, Preti Flaherty attorney and Mainebiz guest columnist John...

Publication

Maine Workers' Comp Alert: WCB December Updates - Covid-19 Claim Statistics and Appeal Accepted by Law Court

The Maine Workers’ Compensation Board met for its regular business meeting on December 8. Among the items discussed were COVID-19 claim statistics and an appeal accepted by the Law Court dealing with a fascinating...

Publication

Maine Workers' Comp Alert: WCB Revises Fee Schedule

The Maine Workers' Compensation Board has completed the annual update of its Medical Fee Schedule. Appendix II (professional fees) and Appendix IV (outpatient facility fees) have been updated in accordance with Title 39-A M.R.S.A...

Publication

Maine Supreme Court Affirms Decision on WCB Rule 2 §5 Termination of Benefits Prior Notice Requirement

Notice Is Required Prior to Termination of Benefits for Durational Cap Under Former WCB Rule, Even When Discontinuance Is Sought by Petition Weekly compensation for partial incapacity benefits under the Workers’ Compensation Act are...

Publication

Maine Workers' Comp Alert: Updates from the WCB February Monthly Business Meeting

The WCB met remotely on February 9, 2021, for its monthly business meeting. Following are some developments with respect to an appeal accepted by the Maine Supreme Court and claims related to Covid-19. COVID-Coded...

News

46 Preti Flaherty Attorneys Selected by Peers for Inclusion in Best Lawyers in America 2022, Including 3 “Lawyers of the Year”

Forty-six Preti Flaherty attorneys have been named to Best Lawyers in America 2022, including four “Ones to Watch” and three “Lawyer of the Year” recipients. Inclusion in Best Lawyers in America is considered a...

Publication

Maine Workers' Comp Alert: WCB Meeting Notes for June 2021

The following are highlights from the Maine Workers’ Compensation Board’s meeting of June 8, 2021. Attorney Kate Gatti Rooks Appointed for Partial Term as Administrative Law Judge in Portland Attorney Kate Gatti Rooks was...

Publication

Maine Workers' Comp Alert: Maine Supreme Court Issues Decision Regarding Statute of Limitations in Coordination of Benefits

Maine Supreme Court Issues Decision in Charest v. Hydraulic Hose Dealing with Unique Statute of Limitations Issue in the Context of the Coordination of Benefits On March 30, 2021, the Law Court issued a...

Publication

Maine Workers' Comp Alert: Appellate Division Affirms Decision Involving Gradual Injury That First Manifested at Home, Not at Work

In Thomas v. United Ambulance , United Ambulance appealed a Decision (Goodnough, ALJ) granting Thomas’s Petition for Award and granting in part his Petition for Payment. United Ambulance argued that the ALJ erred in...