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What Occupational Illnesses are covered by Workers’ Comp?

Occupation Illnesses Covered by Workers' Comp

For many, when we think of workers' compensation we think of neck strain, loss of limbs, and other physical injuries. However, what may not be realized until it is too late; there are occupational diseases which are covered by workers' compensation as well. Occupational diseases are a result of work conditions that workers are exposed to, for the worker to be eligible to make a claim the disease will need to be a product of a natural incident for the particular occupation.

Occupational illnesses can also be used when an individual is suffering some type of physical malady which, although not related to any immediate or specific accidental event, nevertheless has been caused by work activities. For instance, workers who use a key board for several hours a day for months or years, may develop a condition called carpal tunnel syndrome. Similarly, an individual who is involved in repetitive overhead activity, may develop a degenerative shoulder condition.

Types of Occupational Illnesses

Common occupational illnesses workers may develop on the job include:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Coal workers pneumoconiosis (CWP)
  • Blood borne disease
  • Occupational dermatitis such as eczema
  • Hearing loss
  • Respiratory illnesses such as asbestosis, chronic bronchitis, and tuberculosis

As many of these are commonly linked to poor diet or smoking, many workers are not aware that the illness was caused by an exposure in the workplace until it is too late. This makes it imperative to speak openly with your physician and to make yourself aware of any workplace hazards you may encounter.

Requirements for Filing an Occupational Disease Workers' Comp Case

Workers who are suffering from an occupational illness and are unable to work will receive the same benefits as those who suffered an on-the-job injury. The time limit, however, for filing a claim is the later of two dates:

  • Two years from the date of the disabled worker's disability.
  • Two years from the time the disable worker knew or should have known that the disease was due to the nature of employment.

In instances where the employee has died, the dependents must file a claim within the stated time limits. Our workers' compensation attorneys have extensive knowledge surrounding workers' compensation benefits, claims, denials, and necessary processes. In the situation of occupational illnesses, you are urged to have an expert attorney representing you and your case. Having an experienced attorney with aggressive legal representation at your side throughout the duration of your case will help you gain the benefits that are rightfully yours. Schedule your free initial consultation with Erwin, McCane & Daly today to begin working with an attorney who will fight for you.