Are Long Term Illnesses Covered under Workers Compensation?

Each year, millions of people get injured or become sick at their places of work.

Some suffer only minor injuries that require minimal medical intervention, while some others receive serious injuries that render them disabled for the lifetime. Workplace injuries can turn out quite costly because of associated medical expenses and wage loss due to lost time at work. Thankfully, there is the workers’ compensation system in place that provides benefits to employees injured at the workplace.

Missouri Workers' Compensation and Long Term IllnessAll workplace injuries, irrespective of who caused them, are generally covered under workers’ compensation. However, there are some special work-related health conditions that can leave a person wondering whether or not it is covered under worker’s compensation. In this post, our Kansas City Missouri workers compensation attorneys will address one such situation:

Kansas City Missouri workers compensation attorneys come across several cases where the employee is uncertain or confused about his eligibility for receiving workers’ compensation. Such confusion normally occurs when the worker suffers from a long term or chronic illness, or a pre-existing condition that has aggravated because of the work he/she performs, or because of the environmental conditions at the workplace.

Injuries in the workplace do not always occur in an instant. Conditions may develop over time with exposure to certain elements or by prolonged and continuous use of certain body parts. Such situations often fall in the grey area as the worker will contend that the situation is work-related, while the employer will assert that the condition was either pre-existing or a result of a factor external to the workplace. Here is a look at some typical situations.

Repetitive Stress Injuries

Repetitive stress injuries are of various types and may be a result of various factors. Working on computers or assembly line, typing, scanning barcodes, writing, using jackhammer, driving, or standing or sitting in a position for extended periods can cause repetitive injuries of different types. Some common repetitive stress injuries are carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome, shoulder impingement syndrome, tendonitis, and herniated or compressed disks.

Injury Caused by Exposure to Hazardous Elements

In some occupations, workers are exposed to hazardous substances or chemicals that can cause chronic disease or illness after prolonged exposure. Some common examples of exposure-related diseases are asthma, cancer, heart disease, COPD, and some problems of the digestive system.

Pre-Existing Conditions

Proving that a particular health condition has worsened because of work-related exposure, or by the work the person performed can be quite difficult. For example, if a person has degenerative disc disease, and he is made to lift, pull, or push heavy loads at the workplace, his condition may worsen.

These conditions are generally covered under workers’ compensation. However, because of the trickiness of the situation, you may need the services of a qualified and competent Kansas City Missouri workers compensation attorney to prove that your condition is a result of the work you perform. Workers Compensation Attorneys at the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann can help you get the compensation you deserve as an injured worker. Call (816) 399-3706 for a free case evaluation.

photo credit: Jamie in Bytown via Flickr

Updated: August 23, 2019

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