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Seeking workers’ comp for occupational diseases like tinnitus

On Behalf of | Apr 5, 2021 | Workers' Compensation

When it comes to occupational diseases, generally a person is only affected after months or years of exposure to become so ill that you no longer can work. For example, those in New York City who work with loud machinery every day may eventually develop tinnitus. This post will provide a brief overview of tinnitus and whether a person can seek compensation should they develop it on-the-job.

What is tinnitus?

Have you ever heard ringing in your ear after attending a loud concert or working with loud tools such as a lawnmower or circular saw? That ringing is referred to medically as “tinnitus.” Tinnitus can be caused due to chronic exposure to loud noises, an ear injury or an underlining condition. In addition to ringing, a person with tinnitus may also hear a buzzing, roaring, clicking or hissing noise. Unfortunately, sometimes the sounds are so loud that it affects your ability to concentrate or hear other sounds. If the tinnitus is accompanied by hearing loss or dizziness or if it is causing you to suffer anxiety or depression, you may need to seek immediate medical care.

Can you seek compensation for occupational diseases?

Oftentimes a person in New York who is seeking workers’ compensation is doing so because they suffered a specific injury at a specific place and time. However, some occupational diseases, such as tinnitus, develop slowly over many months or years. But just because these harms develop slowly does not mean a worker cannot seek compensation for them.

If a person in New York is disabled due to a work-related occupational disease, they are entitled to seek benefits just as if they had a one-time injury at work. In New York, if you are filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, you must do so either two years from the date of your disability or two years from the time you knew or should have known that your disability was caused by the nature of your job.

Learn more about workers’ compensation in New York

It can be intimidating to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Insurance companies are ultimately looking out for their own bottom line and will sometimes avoid paying out a viable claim. It is important that you seek the help you need to ensure your rights are protected. This post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Our firm’s webpage on occupational disease may be of interest to those who want to learn more about this topic.