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Can I Receive Workers’ Compensation for an Occupational Illness?

Posted on in Workers' Compensation

Champaign, IL workers’ compensation lawyer for occupational diseasesWhen people consider workers’ compensation benefits, it is usually in the context of injuries suffered due to accidents in the workplace. An employee who is injured while working is eligible to receive benefits that address the costs of medical treatment, as well as any income lost due to a temporary or permanent disability. However, a person’s health can also be negatively affected by conditions in their workplace, and workers’ comp will apply for those who have suffered occupational diseases. 

In some cases, proving that an illness is related to the work a person performed may be difficult. This may be a concern for people who have been exposed to COVID-19 during the course of their employment. Those who have suffered occupational illnesses will want to work with an attorney when filing a workers’ comp claim to ensure they can receive the benefits they deserve.

Workers’ Comp Benefits for Occupational Illnesses

In Illinois, the Workers’ Occupational Diseases Act ensures that employees who contract occupational diseases will be covered by workers’ compensation. Occupational diseases include any illnesses that occur during a person’s employment because of the work they have performed or the conditions in their workplace, as well as the aggravation of existing illnesses during the course of a person’s employment.

Occupational illnesses may occur because a person was exposed to infectious diseases or toxic substances while working, although they can also be caused by the physical strain placed on a person’s body when performing work. Some common occupational diseases include:

  • Asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) caused by inhalation of chemicals or irritants

  • Hearing loss caused by regular loud noises in the workplace, such as heavy machinery

  • Skin diseases such as dermatitis caused by exposure to solvents or other toxic chemicals

  • Musculoskeletal disorders caused by repetitive stress on parts of the body such as the neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hands, or fingers

  • Infectious diseases such as COVID-19, tuberculosis, or hepatitis B and C

To be eligible for workers’ compensation, an occupational disease must have caused a person to experience a temporary or permanent impairment that has affected some or all of their body. In most cases, this impairment must have occurred within two years after a person was exposed to conditions that led to the disease. However, there are a few exceptions to this time limit, including in situations where a person inhaled asbestos or was exposed to radiation.

Contact Our Springfield Workers’ Comp Lawyers

Workers’ compensation cases involving occupational illnesses can be complicated. At Kanoski Bresney, we can help you file a workers’ comp claim and show that your illness was caused by the work you performed. We will fight to make sure you receive the benefits you deserve, including both medical benefits and disability benefits. Contact our Peoria occupational illness attorneys at 888-826-8682 to set up your complimentary consultation.

Sources:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2431&ChapterID=68

https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/96-115/diseas.html

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