An occupational disease refers to an illness or condition that arises out of and in the course of employment, or that has been aggravated due to a risk that is peculiar to the employment. Just like acute injuries, a worker who acquires an occupational disease is entitled to benefits under workers’ compensation insurance.
What Types of Diseases Are Covered by Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
Illinois code does not list specific diseases or illnesses that are covered under workers’ compensation insurance. Rather, Illinois Code – 820 ILCS 310/7 – reads, “If any employee sustains any disablement, impairment, or disfigurement, or dies, and his or her disability, impairment, disfigurement or death is caused by a disease aggravated by an exposure of the employment or by an occupational disease arising out of and in the course of this or employment…” then the employee is entitled to benefits. Common complications for which employees have sought workers’ compensation benefits in the past include carpal tunnel syndrome, certain cancers and skin diseases, hearing loss, tendonitis, and more.
Benefits Available Under Workers’ Compensation Insurance
According to the same section of code cited above, an employee who is found to have an occupational disease is entitled to compensation for medical benefits that are necessary and reasonable. Further, an employee may also be able to recover compensation for lost wages in the form of temporary or permanent disability benefits.
The Time Limits for Filing an Occupational Disease Workers’ Compensation Claim
If you believe that you have a disease or condition that you would not have acquired but for the nature of your employment, you need to act quickly to file your workers’ compensation claim. This is because in Illinois, you must file your claim within three years from the date of disablement from an occupational disease – refer to the Illinois Handbook on Workers’ Compensation for more information.
Challenges of Occupational Disease Workers’ Compensation Claims
Proving that an acute injury – like a broken leg – happened during the course of employment is often easy to do, especially when there are witnesses to substantiate the story. But proving that your disease or condition would not have occurred but for your job can be much harder, and your employer may deny you workers’ compensation claim for benefits. If this happens, you have the right to appeal, but you need to take action quickly.
Our Rockford Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Are Ready to Help You
The skilled Rockford, IL workers’ compensation attorneys at Fisk & Monteleone LTD. can help you to prove that your employment was the cause of your occupational disease, and can help you file a workers’ compensation claim to get you the benefits you deserve. If you have questions about what you will need to prove, how much money you may be able to receive, and other avenues for recovering compensation when disabled, contact our offices today for a free case consultation. We encourage you to call us now before time has run out – dial 815-209-9030.