There are many myths swirling around regarding the workers’ compensation insurance system. Quite a few people don’t really understand what benefits they should receive or how workers’ compensation even functions. That lack of knowledge means that when people get hurt on the job, they may not know their rights to benefits and may not file the right claims.
For example, many people are under the mistaken impression that only workplace accidents qualify people for workers’ compensation benefits. However, acquired illnesses and even a condition you had before you started the job could qualify for benefits under workers’ compensation in certain circumstances.
Any medical condition that you acquire or that gets worse as a direct result of your employment is potentially grounds for a workers’ compensation claim. You may be able to obtain coverage for medical treatment, as well as temporary disability benefits while you recover.
Many work-related injuries and illnesses develop over time
The reason people associate catastrophic accidents with workers’ compensation claims is that there is a direct relationship witnessed by other workers between the injury and something that happens at work. Claims related to major accidents are often straightforward, as it is obvious that the injuries are the result of someone’s employment.
Injuries related to overuse also qualify for workers’ compensation protections, provided that workers can connect their symptoms with what they do for a living. Workplace illnesses can slowly develop over time. Conditions like exposure-related cancers take time to develop. Workers can also slowly acquire an injury or illness over time through repetitive motion or repeated exposure to dangerous materials.
Repetitive motion and overwork can lead to injury
Repetitive motion injuries, also called repetitive strain or stress injuries, are some of the most prevalent workplace injuries. Anyone from an office worker who types all day to a factory worker who must lift and twist on the job could wind up with a significant injury from doing the same task day after day.
These injuries can be so severe that they require a person to change the tasks they perform on the job permanently. Sometimes, repetitive motion injuries result in a permanent change of career path and lower earning potential.
Can you get benefits for pre-existing injuries?
Maybe you hurt your knee playing basketball in high school, or perhaps you left your last job after hernia surgery. Regardless of the scenario, if you have a pre-existing injury, that doesn’t necessarily preclude you from making a workers’ compensation claim when it flares up again or worsens because of what you do at work.
If the job that you perform exacerbates an existing health issue and makes it worse, you can potentially file a workers’ compensation claim. After all, the job you work contributed to your current symptoms, and you will need time off and medical care in order to recover.