Being injured at work is scary, because it can immediately cause worry about whether you can still perform your job and what will happen to your future. This is an especially difficult situation if your injury is long-lasting or if you don’t believe there is any help for you.
Despite what your employer may tell you, workers’ compensation does not just cover new, temporary injuries at work. You can qualify for ongoing compensation if an injury causes a chronic or long-term condition, and you can also be compensated for pre-existing injuries that are aggravated by your job or workplace.
Some workplace injuries have lasting effects, especially in cases of back or neck injury. These problems can be hard to correct, even with surgery. However, if a workplace injury becomes a chronic condition or prevents you from being able to earn your previous wages, you could qualify for ongoing or even lifetime benefits.
If you suffer a chronic workplace injury, you may be able to receive benefits for up to 500 weeks, or sometimes even longer, depending on the situation and your condition. You may also qualify for disability benefits or Social Security Disability, though receiving these might lower or replace the workers’ compensation you can receive.
Most people do not realize that workers’ compensation applies to pre-existing conditions that get aggravated by a job, not just new injuries that occur at the workplace. Some employers may even give misleading information about this and, sadly, many claims are wrongly denied the first time because of this as well. However, by law, pre-existing conditions are covered.
Those with previous conditions who file for workers’ compensation are entitled to the same benefits as anyone else who files. You should not receive less compensation just because your condition already existed. You also cannot be denied benefits just because someone else without your condition would not need those benefits in that situation. You have equal rights to file and equal rights to being considered for compensation.
Filing for chronic or pre-existing conditions
Workers’ compensation can be a difficult process for anyone, but it is especially complex when chronic or pre-existing conditions are involved. Many claims are denied the first time, meaning people often have to refile, and a lot of information is needed to prove the injury and the treatment/benefits needed for it. Scheduling a free consultation with a workers’ comp attorney can be extremely helpful. They can advise you on what steps to take based on your situation and help you gather all the information you will need to successfully file a claim.