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Does workers’ compensation cover illnesses?

On Behalf of | Apr 24, 2024 | Workers' Compensation

Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that provides benefits to employees left unable to work due to health issues on the job. Because this insurance typically covers injuries caused by accidents in the workplace, you may wonder if it also covers illnesses.

Learning about this aspect of workers’ comp benefits can help you better understand your rights.

Occupational illness

While there is more awareness about injury coverage, workers’ compensation does cover illnesses that are directly related to your job. These are known as occupational illnesses. Occupational illnesses can result from exposure to harmful substances, repetitive motions or other hazards present in the workplace.

Examples of covered illnesses

Many types of illnesses may be covered by workers’ compensation, including:

  • Respiratory conditions caused by exposure to toxic chemicals or fumes
  • Skin conditions caused by contact with hazardous materials
  • Repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Occupational hearing loss due to loud noise exposure
  • Occupational cancers caused by exposure to carcinogens

Proving your illness is work-related

In order to receive workers’ compensation benefits for an occupational illness, you must be able to prove that your illness is directly related to your job. This may require medical evidence linking your illness to workplace conditions, as well as documentation of your work history and exposure to hazards.

Filing a claim

As soon as you believe you have developed an occupational illness due to your job, you should report it to your employer as soon as possible. Your employer will then initiate the workers’ compensation claims process. You may need to provide medical documentation and other evidence to support your claim.

If you become ill because of your job, knowing that workers’ compensation is available can provide peace of mind.