Workers’ Compensation Benefits for an Occupational Disease
Under Pennsylvania workers’ compensation laws, if you are injured on the job, you have a right to pursue benefits for lost wages, medical expenses, rehabilitation and even retraining. Those benefits, however, are not available only to people who suffered a sudden injury in a workplace accident. You can also recover workers’ compensation benefits if you contract an illness because of conditions related to your job.
What Types of Occupational Disease are Covered by Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation laws provide benefits for losses associated with a wide range of illnesses, provided you can demonstrate that your work environment caused or contributed to your disease. The illnesses for which benefits are available include:
- Cancer stemming from exposure to toxic chemicals, silicates or other substances
- Lung disease, such as asbestosis, Mesothelioma or black lung
- Skin conditions, from rash to eczema or psoriasis
- Respiratory conditions caused by breathing in dust or particulates
The symptoms of many occupational diseases can often look like other, more benign, conditions, such as a cold. You may find yourself sniffling, or have a cough or phlegm in your throat. If the symptoms don’t go away or start to get worse, you want to see your doctor as soon as possible. If your doctor confirms that your condition is related to your work, you will want to determine whether you can address the problem by making changes at work, or whether you can no longer work at all in the environment that caused your illness. If you can wear protective gear and still do your job, you won’t likely be able to obtain workers’ compensation benefits. However, if you are not able to continue working, you can seek workers’ compensation benefits from your employer. You may also be able to pursue damages from the manufacturer or distributor of a toxic substance.
Contact Our Office
At Barnard, Mezzanotte, Pinnie, Seelaus & Kraft LLP, we have protected the rights of individuals throughout Delaware County since 1980. We offer a free initial consultation. To schedule an appointment, call us at 610-565-4055 or 302-594-4535 or contact us online.
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