COVID scan colorful image via Idaho Capital Sun

This colorized scanning electron micrograph image shows a COVID-19 patient’s cell (green) heavily infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus particles (purple).

As the Idaho Legislature this week considered amending workers compensation laws in Idaho to address vaccine injuries, reporter Ruth Brown of Idaho Public Television's "Idaho Reports" filed records requests to see how much already has been paid out under Idaho workers comp for COVID-related claims. The answer: More than $2 million.

The Idaho Industrial Commission had received 2,338 employee workers comp claims related to COVID-19 as of Oct. 31, Brown reports. Of the 2,338 claims, 53 were related to the vaccine, but most were related to illness from the disease.

Idaho workers’ compensation is regulated by the Idaho Industrial Commission. If an employee is injured at work, they file a claim through the commission, Brown writes. The Industrial Commission had already received 53 COVID-19 vaccine-related claims as of Oct. 31. Of those, 39 were medical-only claims. Insurance carriers are not required to disclose payments to the commission on medical-only claims.

Of the 53 claims, three were indemnity claims related to vaccine injury. An indemnity claim seeks compensation for damages or loss. For those three claims, the commission reported payments of more than $5,600 in medical expenses and more than $3,200 for lost wages.

Eleven of the 53 claims were denied. You can read Brown's full report here at the Idaho Reports blog.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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