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A Brief Look at Pennsylvania’s Heart and Lung Act

As people all across the world are staying at home to try and slow down the spread of COVID-19, first responders and other essential workers who are manning the frontlines do not have that option. They risk exposure to COVID-19 every day as they provide essential services for their communities.

If you or a loved one have contracted the virus through their essential work, let a Lancaster workers comp lawyer at Vanasse Law LLC help you explore your possible options, including workers’ comp and Pennsylvania’s Heart and Lung Act. 

Pennsylvania’s Heart and Lung Act

Pennsylvania’s Heart and Lung Act (HLA) protects various types of employees in Pennsylvania if they become sick or injured at work. This protection supplements Workers’ Compensation insurance, providing additional financial support for employees diagnosed with COVID-19 and other temporarily debilitating conditions.

The HLA provides a full tax-free weekly salary without overtime for certain types of employees in Pennsylvania. The HLA also covers medical expenses related to any work-related injury or occupational illness suffered while performing official employment duties.

Who is Covered by the HLA?

The HLA covers municipal employees in law enforcement and firefighting. This includes the following types of job classifications:

  • State, County, Township, and City Police Officers and Firemen
  • Drug Enforcement Agents
  • Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs
  • Liquor Control Board Enforcement Officers and Investigators
  • Correctional Employees with Principal Duties of Care, Custody, and Control of Inmates
  • Psychiatric Security Aides Employed by the Department of Public Welfare
  • Psychiatric Security Aides Employed by the Department of Corrections
  • Members of Delaware River Port Authority Police
  • Special Agents of the Office of Attorney General

What Types of Illnesses are Covered by the HLA?

The title “Heart and Lung Act” is not entirely accurate, as the HLA covers many types of illnesses and injuries. In fact, the HLA covers any injuries and illnesses that occur “within the course and scope of employment” for all qualified Pennsylvania employees. 

Furthermore, certain groups of employees in Pennsylvania may be granted a presumption that COVID-19 is an “occupational disease” for their profession under certain provisions of the workers’ comp law. Nonetheless, while the HLA covers temporary illnesses or injuries, including COVID-19, permanent disabilities are not covered.

Contact a Lancaster Workers’ Comp Lawyer at Vanasse Law LLC for a Same-Day Response

Both the workers’ comp laws and the HLA are complicated pieces of legislation. If you are working during the pandemic and may be exposed to COVID-19, it is important that you understand your rights under workers’ compensation law and potentially the HLA. 

A Lancaster workers’ comp attorney at Vanasse Law LLC will help you understand the current state of the law regarding workers’ comp and the HLA, explore your options, protect your rights, and file any necessary claims on your behalf. If you need our help, please contact us online for a same-day response.