Whether you have been diagnosed with an occupational disease or suffered an injury while performing your work duties, you are entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits from your employer. The insurance company provides you with financial compensation for the medical treatment and a partial replacement for your lost wages. However, most people are confused whether they can apply for workers’ compensation for a pre-existing medical condition.
According to Illinois Workers’ Compensation law, you can get benefits for illnesses and injuries arising from your job activities or while you at workplace. But if a pre-existing condition has worsened over time due to your job requirements, you are still eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
How Workers’ Comp for Pre-existing Medical Conditions is Treated under Illinois Law
The worsening of a pre-existing medical condition is compensable under Illinois laws. When an employer hires a worker with an existing medical condition, they are not accountable for paying for its treatment. However, when the medical condition aggravates due to work duties, they can claim workers’ compensation benefits because the employer is required to cover any injuries and illnesses that occur during the course of employment.
In such a situation, the worker is required to prove that the aggravation of the injury or illness is work-related. For example, if you have had breathing problems, like emphysema, before joining a chemical factory and later it becomes worse over time because of airborne chemicals, you will be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. In another example, if you suffered a back injury in an accident prior to your employment and lifting items has made the pain or condition of your back worse, you can make a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
An injured worker can recover damages for permanent total disability and temporary partial disability as well. In such a case, they may not be able to perform the same work duties as before or not work at any job. The framework of workers’ compensation is based on a no-fault system – this means that a worker does not have to show that a colleague, occupational hazard, or any other specific occurrence caused the injury. They only need to determine that it was work-related.
What if your Workers’ Compensation Claim for a Pre-existing Condition has been Denied
The general rule is that you can recover compensation for medical expenses and lost wages for an aggravated pre-existing medical condition. However, insurance companies rarely make it easy for workers to get their claim in such situations. Sometimes, employers may claim that your pre-existing condition is preventing you from working, and it has nothing to do with your work duties. This can make it difficult for a worker to prove aggravation of a pre-existing condition is attributed to their work activities.
If you have denied of your workers’ compensation benefits for a worsened pre-existing medical condition, you need to retain the services of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to fight for the benefits that you rightfully deserve. Contact Fisk & Monteleone LTD. today at 815-209-9030 to schedule a free case consultation.