How to Handle False Readings on Work-Mandated COVID Tests
Did you know that up to one-third of all COVID-19 tests may actually be inaccurate? This is concerning news for anyone whose workers’ comp claim relies on the outcome of a COVID test. If you suspect your coronavirus test results were incorrect, you have a few different options available.
How Common Are False Readings?
No medical test is completely accurate, so it is always possible that your COVID test was incorrect. These tests are still fairly new, so precise accuracy rates for them are not known. COVID test accuracy rates also seem to vary based on the testing method and where the results are processed. Depending on the test, false-negative rates are somewhere between 2% to 37%. This means there is a reasonable chance that a test might say you do not have COVID when you really are sick. False-positive results, where a test says you have COVID even though you don’t, are much rarer with reported rates at almost zero percent. Signs that your test might have been wrong include the following:
- You have various COVID symptoms and have not been diagnosed with anything else.
- The testing company has notified you that something happened to impair their testing procedure.
- You’ve spent a lot of time being exposed to COVID, but you got a negative result.
- You heard something in the news about your testing company processing results incorrectly.
Can You Retake the Test?
There is no rule that you can only do a work-mandated COVID test once. If you have reason to believe that your first results were inaccurate, you always have the opportunity to schedule another test. Who pays for the test will depend on your employer. Some organizations may be happy to pay out of pocket for a second test just to be sure. However, others may only reimburse you for test costs if your second test reveals the first one was wrong.
There are several types of tests to choose from when retaking your test. The most common type of COVID tests will simply tell you if you have it right now. Therefore, they will not be effective if you have already recovered. In these cases, you will need to take a COVID antibody test. This test lets you know if you have had COVID-19 in the past.
What If You Realize Your Test Was Wrong After Your Claim Is Closed?
Something to keep in mind with retesting for COVID is that it is usually only helpful while your claim is still open. If your claim has already been closed because your work-mandated test said you were not sick, it may be more difficult to handle the false result. In the state of Pennsylvania, it is possible to reopen a workers’ compensation claim. All you need to do is file a petition for reinstatement. This allows you to request COVID workers’ comp benefits again.
If it has been an extremely long time since you took the test, even an antibody test may not provide information on whether or not you had COVID-19. However, a skilled workers’ comp lawyer might still be able to help. If there is any reason to doubt the original COVID test, then you may be able to argue that you deserve compensation after all. For example, it was recently revealed that a COVID testing company, AdventHealth, improperly processed thousands of tests. Therefore, the veracity of any work-mandated tests they did is now under a lot of suspicion.
Get Professional Assistance With COVID Workers’ Comp Claims
As you can see, handling a false result on a COVID test can be a little challenging. That’s why it is helpful to work with a professional who knows all the ins and outs of workers’ compensation claims. Turn to the Voorhees Law Office if you need a trusted workers’ comp lawyer. We help New Jersey and Pennsylvania employees get the compensation they deserve. During the pandemic, our office is still operating remotely. You can call our office in Somerville, NJ, at (908) 200-2297 or email us to schedule a free consultation.