Legislation introduced to provide compensation for essential workers impacted by COVID

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WASHINGTON (NEWS10)­ — On Wednesday, the Pandemic Heroes Compensation Act was introduced. This act will create a new program for all essential workers and personnel who have been injured or impacted by COVID-19.

Modelled after the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF), the new fund would provide compensation to any individuals, or their families, who were considered essential workers, and were required to leave their home to work, and became ill or died as a result of COVID-19.

The Pandemic Heroes Compensation Act:

  • Establishes a compensation fund for all essential workers, personnel, and their families, across all industries, that were required to leave their homes to perform their services and became ill or died as a result of COVID-19
  • Supports essential workers affected by COVID-19 by providing financial assistance to help with medical costs, loss of employment, loss of business, replacement services, and burial costs
  • Authorizes appropriated funds as needed for five years with the fund permanently closing one fiscal year after it is determined that no additional claims can be filed
  • Creates a new website and office developed to assist in the application process
  • Maximizes compensation for essential workers and their families by simplifying the application process

Family members who share homes with essential workers and became sick through contact with them would also be eligible to file a claim. The compensation application would allow claimants to provide information about the extent of their loss. Eligible individuals would receive compensation no later than 20 days after approval.

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