Occupational injuries that result from specific events occurring at work are relatively straight-forward and easy to document when it comes to filing a worker’s compensation claim. Injuries that get progressively worse over time due to a repetitive activity or stress that is part of the job, however, can result in an occupational disease, which is also eligible for benefits under WC laws in New York.
New York offers some of the most comprehensive protections for injured workers in the country. Worker’s compensation insurance offers wage replacement for injured workers who cannot work, medical treatment without out-of-pocket expenses, social security disability for workers who are unable to work for more than 12 months, and death benefits for the family of a worker whose death was caused by a workplace injury or accident.
What is occupational disease?
According to the New York Worker’s Compensation Board, occupational disease is defined as any illness or condition arising from a particular occupation or industry, and can occur over time due to repetitive motion or stress to a part of the anatomy when a worker is working because of the nature of the job.
Office workers who develop carpal tunnel disease, masons who need knee replacement surgery from working for long hours on their knees, or construction workers who suffer from herniated discs from heavy lifting are all examples of physical activities causing occupational diseases that are covered under worker’s compensation.
Other conditions can develop from certain workplace hazards, such as hearing loss from frequent harmful noise at the worksite or allergic reactions, sick building syndrome or reactive airways conditions that result from workplace exposure to toxic fumes or diseases.
Filing a claim
For a work-related occupational disease, the deadline for filing an employee claim is two years from the date of disability or two years from when the worker had knowledge of the disease and its work-related cause. For those facing hearing loss, claims must be filed three months from the date the individual was removed from the source of the harmful noise, or three months after leaving a job in which the worker was exposed to the harmful noise.
Many workers do not realize that when a claim is initially denied, this does not have to be the final outcome. In fact, with the right legal representation, it can be just the beginning of a process that will eventually lead to justifiable relief for individuals suffering from long-term disability. Aggressive worker’s compensation advocates serving the five boroughs, Long Island, Westchester and across the state can help you receive the benefits that you deserve.