Can I Get Workers’ Comp for Arthritis?
When you have a pre-existing condition or injury, it can be hard to know whether you are covered by workers’ compensation insurance. If you sustained an injury prior to being hurt at work, your workers’ compensation claim may be impacted, especially if you injured the same body part. If you have questions about a workplace accident or pre-existing condition or injury, you may need to speak with a lawyer.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis describes several rheumatic conditions that cause joint inflammation. Types of arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and fibromyalgia. Symptoms such as pain, swelling, and stiffness are classic symptoms of arthritis.
The type of work a person does may lead to aggravating of preexisting conditions. For example, jobs that involve repetitive motions or that require workers to engage in high impact activity run the risk of having employees develop or aggravate a preexisting injury.
Workers’ Compensation for Arthritis
In order to receive workers’ compensation benefits, an employee must suffer a work-related injury or illness that prevents them from working and report their injury to their employer within the given time frame. Usually there are workers’ compensation benefits for employees regardless of whether their condition is preexisting or not. Although it can be tricky, you have a right to file a workers’ compensation claim if your job causes your arthritis to act up or accelerates your condition.
Impact of a Preexisting Condition on Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Injuring the same body part may slightly reduce the amount you receive in benefits. However, your employer is still responsible for paying your medical bills for the most recent injury you sustained as well as temporary disability benefits if you are out of work due to the injury.
It is important that if you have a preexisting injury and injure the same body part again, that you inform your doctor. You should also provide them with documentation about the previous injury. That way, your doctor can determine whether your injury is a new injury that is related to your old injury, or whether it is a continuation of your old injury. This difference will have an impact on your workers’ compensation claim.
A preexisting, but unrelated condition will have little to no impact on your workers’ compensation claim. However, if the preexisting condition along with your new injury leaves you permanently disabled, your employer may be given options regarding your compensation.
When filing a workers’ compensation claim involving a preexisting condition, you must provide documentation that proves the condition was made worse by your work activities.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Represent Clients Injured on the Job
Filing a workers’ compensation claim for a work-related injury can be a tricky process to navigate alone. If you were injured on the job, contact a Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Our experienced lawyers will fight hard to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries. For a free consultation, contact us online or by phone at 888-999-1962. We have offices in Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Pinehurst, North Carolina, and we represent clients throughout Pennsylvania, including those in Bucks County and Delaware County.