How Does Worker's Compensation and Pre-Existing Conditions Co-Mingle?

Posted on: 26 February 2020

When you are hurt while performing tasks within the scope of your job, you can claim worker's compensation benefits to help you recoup financially until your injury is healed. For those who have a pre-existing condition, a work-related injury may exacerbate that problem. If this is the case for you, you may wonder if worker's compensation will come into play. The following are some things you need to know:

What Is a Pre-Existing Medical Condition?

A pre-existing medical condition with the scope of worker's compensation is a medical issue you have before you were hurt while on the job. Your medical condition is an older injury or illness that you experienced in the past. If your injury or medical disposition is aggravated in any way, it can impact how you perform your job.

Can You Receive Worker's Compensation for Pre-Existing Conditions?

The rules on pre-existing conditions and work-related injuries are different in each state, so the answer to this question will vary based on where you work. In general, most states will agree that an injury that is a result of a pre-existing condition will not be covered by worker's compensation. However, if your injury was not directly related to your pre-existing condition, you should be able to claim worker's compensation.

How Can Your Injuries Be Covered?

If you have a pre-existing medical condition and you suffer an injury or illness due to something that happened while you were at work, you may wonder how you can deal with the aftermath. Ultimately, your coverage will depend on your pre-existing condition and the circumstances of the injury. If your prior condition was the result of a previous job you held and you were hurt again at your new job, you may be eligible for worker's compensation, particularly if you received worker's compensation from your previous employer.

If your pre-existing condition is not related to a previous worker's compensation claim but your old injury or medical condition was exacerbated at your current job, you will have a more difficult time claiming worker's compensation.

If your pre-existing medical condition has nothing to do with your new injury, you can file a new claim for worker's compensation that is not connected with any claims you have made in the past for your old injury or medical condition.

How Do You Submit Your Claim?

You first need to report your injury to your employer then file a claim with your human resources office. Your employer will ask you to schedule a medical appointment with its preferred provider to evaluate your injury and help determine how the injury occurred. Your employer will receive a report of your injury and make a determination on the status of your worker's compensation claim.

For more information about compensation, contact a workers' comp law firm.