Nearly 21,000 workers submitted claims with the Belgian government to recognize Covid-19 as an occupational disease since the pandemic took hold in March 2020.
Most likely to file claims were laundry workers, hairdressers, cooks, cleaning service managers, babysitters, firefighters, police officers, and gendarmes.
Of the 14,257 claims decided, nearly half – 6,975 – involve temporary work incapacity, Belga News Agency reported. Most of the employees filing claims, 70%, missed between 2 and 4 weeks of work.
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When filing a claim, a worker has to prove that their Covid exposure occurred during their regular work routine. Jobs also must be in locations that don't allow for social distancing, according to Fedris.
Claims are processed by Fedris, the Belgian agency responsible for managing occupational risks for salaried workers in the private sector, trainees and staff members of provincial and local administrations.
Workers also requested help paying medical expenses. Fedris covers the co-payment of medicines, doctors' fees, X-rays, and laboratory bills. Nine claims involved costs associated with Covid-related deaths.