Press Release

National Nurses Organizing Committee Wins Workers Compensation Presumptive Eligibility for Nurses and Other Essential Workers Who Contract COVID-19

nurse holding sign

National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United (NNOC/NNU) initiated the idea of presumptive eligibility for COVID-19 workers in Illinois and began working with the Illinois AFL-CIO on it on March 23. NNU worked collaboratively with the AFL-CIO and the governor's office to get it done. 

Yesterday, at the request of Gov. JB Pritzker, the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission issued an emergency amendment that makes COVID-19 illness presumptively eligible for workers compensation for most workers deemed “essential” by the Governor’s disaster declaration, including nurses.

"By the nature of our work as nurses, we are in constant danger of being exposed to COVID-19," said Martese Chism, an RN in Chicago and a member of the NNOC/NNU board of directors for Region 13, which includes Chicago. "It is so important to have presumptive eligibility for nurses. We are thrilled that Gov. Pritzker has made it possible for all health care workers in Illinois to be automatically presumed eligible for workers' compensation if they contract COVID-19.”