Workers’ compensation is a program that provides benefits to covered employees in New York City. While most missed work days are from injuries, an employee can also contract occupational diseases, which could be compensable.
OSHA, the organization responsible for work safety, publishes a list of diseases that can lead to a successful workers’ compensation claim. The disease must arise in the scope of employment and connected to the job from an event or exposure.
Workers may qualify for benefits if they have:
- Physical conditions which derive from extreme temperatures or cause hearing loss
- Skin diseases from outdoor exposure to sunlight or hazardous toxins
- Occupational cancers, such as mesothelioma
Carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition that affects the median nerve of the hand from repetitive motion, often qualifies. In some cases, mental disorders caused by workers of traumatic events and overexertion are eligible for workers’ comp.
Filing a claim
All states give employees a time frame to report diseases or injuries, which is 30 days in New York. However, getting proof of diseases to file a claim can be tricky, since some conditions don’t show symptoms immediately. For example, symptoms of mesothelioma can lay dormant for 30 years or more before they show.
A worker typically has two years to file a claim starting from the date of the illness and when they learned of it. Workers commonly have 90 days to file claims on hearing loss, since it may not get noticed immediately.
When an employee reports an injury, they should get a C-3 form to mail to the workers’ comp office. The employer commonly reports the incident to the workers’ comp board on form C-2 within ten days. The employer or their insurance provider may require the employee to visit an approved workers’ compensation doctor in the Preferred Provider Organization.