In our last bLAWg post, we talked about what happens when you get hurt on the job and want to recover your lost wages. How do you know if your injury is eligible for compensation? Here is more information to consider before you pursue filing a worker’s comp claim.
A mental only condition caused by work-related stress is generally not compensable, but physical conditions caused by work-related stress are. If you have a stress-related heart attack on the job, for example, the injury may be covered if it is shown that you were subject to pressures greater than those occasionally experienced in most types of employment.
What if my injury is actually the aggravation of a pre-existing injury?
In general, the “substantial” aggravation of a pre-existing condition is covered by workers’ comp. This generally must be proven by objective diagnostic studies and/or objective clinical findings. Your doctor will need to write a very detailed report to support your claim. You might want to consult an attorney to help make sure the report is correct as these are very hard to prove.
Are “occupational diseases” compensable?
Under the Workers’ Compensation Act, an occupational disease is defined as one contracted in the course of employment, and wherein the nature of your job puts you at risk of contracting the disease to a greater degree (and in a different manner) than would be true of the general public. For example these include jobs where you are required to do the action on a repetitive basis.
Is the aggravation of a pre-existing disease covered?
No, sorry! This is generally not compensated.