Are Occupational Diseases Covered By Workers' Compensation?

Posted By Katz Leidman Grossman Wolfe & Freund || 14-May-2015

What is an occupational disease? It is a disease that stems directly from the conditions that a worker is exposed to. Under specific circumstances a worker is entitled to workers' compensation benefits when they are suffering from an "occupational disease."

An occupational disease is a condition that is caused by doing a specific job for a period of time. The condition could be from doing the same thing over and over, it does not have to be a specific incident.

An occupational disease may also be the result of being exposed to a substance that is typical to your job over an extended period of time.

Examples of occupational diseases:

  • Skin diseases
  • Diseases of the lung
  • Occupational cancers caused by various agents
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Hearing impairment caused by noise
  • Bakers' asthma (exposure from flour dust)
  • Upper airway disorders caused by exposure to various types of dust
  • Diseases caused by exposure to extreme temperatures

This is just a very short list of occupational diseases, there are dozens more that apply for workers' compensation purposes.

What if I'm sick, but I can still work?

If you have become ill due to an occupational disease, there is a possibility that you can still be considered disabled even if you have not lost any time from work.

If you want to apply for benefits, and see if you are entitled, a workers' compensation law judge will review your case and decide on the date of disablement.

Time Limit for Filing a Claim

If you have become disabled due to a work-related occupational disease, know that you may be entitled to the same benefits as someone who suffered an on-the-job injury. The time limit for filing a claim is the later of the following dates:

  • Within two years of the date of your disability; or
  • Two years from the date that you knew or should have known about the disease being caused by your employment.

If you are suffering from an occupational disease, you are urged to contact Katz Leidman Grossman Wolfe & Freund to schedule a consultation with a caring and knowledgeable New York workers ' compensation lawyer!