What to Know About Workers’ Compensation and Chronic Illnesses or Injuries

When it comes to workplace injuries and the thought of workers’ compensation insurance comes to mind, people might jump to think about slips and falls, cuts, and bumps. But there are some professions where employees will see gradual injuries develop over time as a result of work conditions.

In this case, these workers — especially those in more manual labor-type roles — should be eligible for traditional workers’ compensation benefits and coverage. It’s important for businesses to understand the effects of chronic illnesses and injuries resulting from the work their employees perform and how workers’ compensation fits into all this.

Occupational Diseases

Any ongoing exposure to harmful substances at the workplace can end up causing occupational illnesses, including black lung disease, asthma, skin diseases, and issues with bones and joints.

Differing from state to state, the definitions of occupational diseases and the requirements for proving that workers have this type of illness can cause some confusion for both employee and employer. Usually, the employee will need medical evidence of some kind that their exposure on the job caused an illness that is a related risk in their line of work.

For things like heart disease, lung disease, and different types of cancer, the employee may have trouble filing for workers’ compensation benefits. These diseases from life, outside of work, are usually ruled out in most states.

Injuries Developed Over Time

There are more laborious jobs that require workers to do the same repetitive motions over and over throughout their day. This could be swinging a hammer or cleaning offices. But with the rise in telecommuting and the gig economy, workers’ comp insurance providers are seeing more claims related to computer-related tasks as well.

Employees in a wide range of jobs can develop a number of painful and debilitating conditions as a result of repeated movements and lifting and typing. Outside of carpal tunnel syndrome, some common repetitive injuries include tennis elbow, trigger finger, back pain, and tendonitis.

Chronic Conditions and Pre-Existing Conditions

Employees who suffer from chronic conditions need to be sure to take certain steps to make sure their coverage is effective. Work-related chronic conditions are major problems for companies looking to keep production high and liabilities low. To make sure everyone is on the same page, it’s important to go over the steps as to the process of handling chronic conditions and workers’ compensation.

The employee needs to first seek medical attention before reporting their injury. They should make sure they’re not setting themselves up for even more aggravation or pain to their chronic illness and then go on to work with their supervisor on reporting the issue before a certain time period. Typically, this ranges from the moment of injury up to 90 days after.

When filing a workers’ comp claim, it depends on the state’s rules as to whether or not they need to file a claim with the state agency. In some states, the employer may be responsible for taking care of this part.

Even if the employee has a pre-existing condition, they may still be able to receive workers’ comp benefits if recent work activities made the matter worse. In some states, the benefits may be reduced, such as permanent disability awards, to factor in the previous injury or illness.

About InsureMyWorkComp

InsureMyWorkComp is a digital brokerage that helps clients find the right workers’ compensation solution for their business needs. Unlike other online platforms, we will help you to work with an agent who can provide you the right solution for your risk profile. Our staff has over 50 years of workers’ compensation underwriting and sales experience, and we are confident that we will provide you the support that you need. For more information or to get a quote, contact us today at (855) 340-9138.