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Does My Illness Qualify for Workers’ Compensation?

Posted by B. Patrick Agnew | Feb 28, 2015 | 0 Comments

Certain occupational diseases, including hearing loss and carpal tunnel syndrome are routinely covered under the Virginia Workers Compensation Act. Other illnesses that arose ordinarily in life can qualify for Virginia Workers Compensation benefits, but are much more difficult to prove. As noted above, Stress-related disorders can be covered under workers' compensation laws under very narrow The post Does My Illness Qualify for Workers' Compensation? appeared first on Agnew & Rosenberger Virginia Law Firm.

Certain occupational diseases, including hearing loss and carpal tunnel syndrome are routinely covered under the Virginia Workers Compensation Act. Other illnesses that arose ordinarily in life can qualify for Virginia Workers Compensation benefits, but are much more difficult to prove. As noted above, Stress-related disorders can be covered under workers' compensation laws under very narrow circumstances. One factor is being able to show with specific facts that the illness was caused by a “sudden shock or fright” incident on the job.

Is my illness eligible?

Illnesses can and often do arise from the environmental conditions and other hazards of a workplace. Illnesses where you need to seek medical attention or results in a disability or death may qualify. It is critical to understand whether the illness is caused by an accident, making repetitive motions, or other repercussions from the working conditions of the job.

There are some other common types of occupational illnesses:

  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (if there is a sudden event that causes the disorder)
  • Heart conditions (In particular, police officers and firemen qualify more frequently)
  • Hearing loss
  • Respiratory illnesses (if we can show that the illness came from work and did not come from some other source)
  • Blood borne pathogenic diseases
  • Mental health conditions (in some circumstances)

More and more, governmental agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Worldwide Health Organization (WHO) are beginning to realize that stress-related disorders or mental health conditions can and should qualify, relieving some of the stigma that was once attached to disorders involving the mind or emotional health.

Who can qualify for workers' comp?

Most employers in the state of Virginia are required to provide workers' compensation for part-time and full-time employees, if there are more than three employees in regular service working for the company. Some employees fall outside of these categories, so be sure you understand this so that you can file under the correct program.

Some employees, must pursue avenues other than the Virginia Workers Compensation Act to qualify for benefits including certain federal agencies and the Longshore & Harbor Workers Compensation Act. We are pleased to be able to represent some of these individuals and refer the others to an attorney who can help.

  • Federal employees
  • Business owners
  • Maritime workers
  • Railroad employees
  • Independent contractors.

Many of these workers are covered under through other venues or government programs. If you do not fall under these categories, then you apply through the federal program. First, consult with a Roanoke workers' compensation attorney to see if and how you can qualify.

Agnew & Rosenberger, PLLC has had over 80 years of experience using our full knowledge of the law to advocate for the rights of injured workers. We are well know for our excellent services and our devoted and compassionate care for our clients.

The post Does My Illness Qualify for Workers’ Compensation? appeared first on Agnew & Rosenberger Virginia Law Firm.

About the Author

B. Patrick Agnew

B. Patrick Agnew was born and raised in Roanoke, Virginia and Bedford County. He received his undergraduate degree from Liberty University and studied philosophy and government. Patrick received his law degree from the Regent University School of Law.

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