Breaking News: Missouri Passes Emergency COVID-19 Workers Compensation Benefit Presumption for First Responders

When COVID-10 hit the country, nobody really knew how unprepared our country was to deal with the crisis. Coronavirus has spread rampantly throughout the country and now New York has more confirmed cases than any single country. First responders have largely used up the personal protective equipment supplies and are resorting to reusing masks and other PPE. Nevertheless, even in light of the shortage, first responders are battling this disease and saving lives. COVID-19 Insurance Claim

From a legal standpoint, the big question from a workers compensation perspective, was whether first responders could prove they were exposed to the highly contagious coronavirus at work as opposed to at home, in a ride-share, at a friend’s home, etc. Certainly, Missouri workers compensation law requires employees to be injured on the job or exposed to occupational disease in the course and scope of employment in order to qualify for work comp benefits. We anticipated insurance companies would utilize their typical defenses to protect their money from paying claims. Indeed, injured workers have the burden of proof. That means they lose if they cannot prove their case. Therefore, an injured worker must prove he or she contracted COVID-19 at work. Insurance company lawyers would question ever single movement the injured person made outside of work to cast a cloud of doubt on where the virus was contracted. The insurance company would then argue the employee did not meet his or her burden.  Case lost. 

Thankfully, Missouri just passed 8 CSR 50-5.005, entitled “Presumption of Occupational Disease for First Responders.” The code of state regulation now modifies how first responders’ workers compensation claims will be handed. This emergency rule creates a presumption that any first responder who contracts COVID-19 or is quarantined due to COVID-19 was exposed at work. The rule was filed April 8. 2020 and will become effective April 22, 2020 and expires on February 1, 2021. The rule covers law enforcement officers, firefighters and EMTs only. It does not cover nurses, doctors, or other healthcare workers. 

As such, we are advising our COVID-19 clients not to make a workers compensation claim until April 22, 2020. For those that are out of work a few weeks and have no resulting disability, these people should not need the services of a lawyer. Our office will assist those first responders for free. For people who recover, the work comp insurer is responsible for all necessary medical care, time off work, and resultant disability (if any). From a disability perspective, from what we can tell, COVID-19 will not pose any serious life-altering disability.  

For those that lose a family member first responder due to coronavirus the process will be much more complex and harder to navigate. Our work comp lawyers are providing free screenings on all death cases and will counsel the family as to what legal options are available. 

There are some notable exceptions to the emergency rule that could take away the presumption of work exposure in certain cases. 

If you have questions about COVID-19 workers compensation claims, you can submit your question to [email protected] or call our lawyers at 314-400-0000.

April 10th, 2020 by Ryan E. Bradley

Ryan Bradley is a trial lawyer and owner of The Bradley Law Firm. He specializes in catastrophic personal injury ad wrongful death cases.

Our Results

Our Personal Injury Attorneys have proudly collected TENS OF MILLIONS of dollars in compensation for clients. Below are some of our recent personal injury case results.

$30M Sexual Assault
$14.25M Motorcyle Crash
$10.5M Fatal Wreck
$4M Product Liability
$4M Wrongful Death
$2M 18-Wheeler Wreck
$2M Wrongful Death Trucking Crash
$2M Wrongful Death Tractor Trailer
$1.7M Van Crash
$1M Truck Crash
$1M 18-Wheeler Wreck
$321K Auto Crash
$300K Motorcycle Wreck
$300K SUV Wreck
$225K Truck Crash

View All Results →


What Our Clients Are Saying

"Overall, I had a great experience working with The Bradley Law Firm!! I would recommend Ryan and his team to anyone. Being involved in a car accident can be quite stressful and dealing with insurance companies can be even more stressful. Having Ryan in my corner lifted a huge burden off my shoulders and made this process much easier for me. They handled everything. Tina is great…she is awesome! She’s extremely patient and kept me informed throughout the entire process. The Bradley Law Firm team is very personable, easy to talk to, and a pleasure to work with."


St Louis Personal Injury Lawyer

Our Results

Our Personal Injury Attorneys have proudly collected TENS OF MILLIONS of dollars in compensation for clients.

St Louis Personal Injury Lawyer

Our Mission

It is our mission to ensure you receive a maximum recovery for all of your damages, to the fullest extent under the law.


We Maintain the Highest Possible Ratings from Professional Organizations


Contact the Bradley Law Firm

St. Louis

1424 Washington Ave
Suite #300
St. Louis, MO 63103


google map

Kansas City, Missouri

107 W. 9th Street
2nd Floor
Kansas City, MO 64105


google map
Our FirmPractice AreasContact UsSitemap

St. Louis Lawyer Disclaimer: The legal information offered herein by The Bradley Law Firm, is not formal legal advice, nor is it the formation of an attorney client relationship. In order for our firm to be considered your attorney there must be a signed agreement between the client and the firm. Any results set forth herein are based solely upon the circumstances of that particular case and offer no promise or guarantee upon the outcome of any other case. Please contact a lawyer for a consultation. This site is not intended to solicit clients outside the State of Missouri or Illinois. The Bradley Law Firm may co-counsel or associate with other law firms around the country at its discretion from initial intake through litigation when it deems appropriate.

Follow Us on Social Media

Image Image Image
314-293-5753, 314-470-1786, 314-668-9253

© 2018, The Bradley Law Firm.

Bradley Law Firm Bradley Law Firm 1424 Washington Ave., #300 St. Louis, MO 63103 314-400-0000 Prices Vary St Louis Personal Injury Lawyer - 5 stars - based on 46 reviews