Benefits for Chronic IllnessesFebruary 20, 2018
If you become injured on the job, Workers’ Compensation benefits will cover your medical expenses and other costs associated with the injury. What people may not realize is that Workers’ Compensation also provides benefits to employees who have developed a chronic illness or injury over time because of their work-related activities, or if they have been exposed to hazardous materials. Chronic illnesses can last for months, years, or even an entire lifetime, which can be extremely costly, especially if it results in lost wages over an extended period.
Examples of Chronic Conditions Covered by Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ Compensation benefits are available to employees who have a chronic illness or injury that was caused by less than ideal work conditions, or exposure to toxic or hazardous materials over an extended period. The following are examples of common chronic conditions:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome usually caused by typing
- Chronic back pain caused by repeated bending movements or heavy lifting
- Bursitis of the shoulder caused by lifting heavy objects above the head
- Asthma from ongoing exposure to dust or other hazardous chemicals
- Black lung caused by exposure to coal dust
- Mesothelioma, a type of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos
Like other workplace injuries, to be eligible for benefits, the chronic condition must be directly related to work. Depending on the injury or illness, proving that certain chronic conditions are work-related may be more difficult to prove than others. For example, it is unlikely that an insurance company will question whether an employee’s carpal tunnel syndrome is work-related, particularly if the employee spends the majority of their day typing. However, other conditions such as lung cancer, arthritis, or back pain could be caused by other factors outside of work, including smoking, aging, or other physical activities like sports.
Steps to Take If You Have a Chronic Illness or Injury
- Seek medical attention. Make sure that you obtain the appropriate medical care based on your injury. For example, if your injury is serious or life-threatening, visit a doctor or hospital immediately.
- Report the injury. Notify your employer as soon as possible that you have a chronic injury or illness that is directly work-related.
- File a Workers’ Compensation claim. Your employer will provide you with the necessary forms to file to proceed with the claims process. It is important that you fill out the forms in their entirety and submit them prior to the deadline or your claim may be denied.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Seek Compensation for Victims of Chronic Conditions
If you or a loved one suffers from a chronic condition that is directly related to your job, do not hesitate to contact the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will work closely with you to guide you through the claims process and fight to secure the full benefits that you deserve. We will address your questions and concerns throughout the process and ensure that your rights are protected. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.