Workers compensation provides benefits to those who develop injuries or illnesses due to their job. Although it may seem fairly straightforward, the entire workers compensation system can be tricky—especially when it comes to what injuries and illnesses are covered.
So what is covered by workers compensation? Here are five categories of illnesses and injuries:
1. Work-Related Injuries
Almost any injury that a person sustains while at work is covered by workers compensation. However, there may be some exceptions. A situation where this might occur includes injuries sustained due to non-work related activities, or injuries sustained while on breaks.
In general, though, any injury that occurs in the workplace is covered. Workers compensation will usually cover injuries sustained during work-related events, as well. This might include company events or retreats, business-related sports, and other activities that do not occur in the workplace.
2. Repetitive Motion Injuries
Certain jobs, such as office work, can cause repetitive motion injuries. Carpal tunnel, arthritis, and other medical conditions may arise in employees who continually do the same motion day-after-day for several years.
Although it does not garner much attention, workers compensation does usually cover injuries sustained due to repetitive motions. It will also cover injuries due to repetitive stress and cumulative stress that cause physical issues.
3. Stress-Related Injuries
Surprisingly, stress-related injuries are also covered by workers compensation. Although vague, a stress-related injury is defined as a physical or emotional issue that arises due to workplace conditions. Employees that develop stress disorders that manifest in physical or emotional conditions are usually covered; however, there has to be proof that the disorder was caused due to their job.
Workers compensation will cover a myriad of stress-related injuries, such as digestive issues. It will also cover emotional illnesses and issues, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
4. Occupational Illnesses
Workers compensation will also cover occupational illnesses. An occupational illness is any illness that is caused—or worsened—by the job. Common occupations that sustain work-related illnesses include firefighters, police, and nurses.
An occupational illness may also be covered for those who are exposed to dangerous chemicals during work. For example, a construction worker may be covered if they develop lung issues or cancer due to asbestos exposure.
Finally, workers compensation will almost always provide benefits to those who experience a work-related death in the family. Spouses, children, and/or parents may receive benefits if their loved one died while at work—or due to work-related illnesses.
Although workers compensation claims can be tricky, you can use this quick guide to determine if your case is covered. If you are still unsure, consult with a workers compensation lawyer for help.
Talk to experts like The Law Firm of Fitzgerald, Reese & Van Dyne, Co. for more information.