When you are diagnosed with an occupational disease and will be unable to continue working, you may be wondering how you are going to continue to support yourself and your family. Fortunately, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
However, you may be unsure whether you qualify, what these benefits consist of, or how you can go about receiving workers’ compensation benefits for an occupational disease. With help from an Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer at Bader Scott Injury Lawyers, you can get through this challenging time in your life.
What Is an Occupational Disease?
An occupational disease is one that is caused or brought on by the conditions of your work environment. People who have pre-existing conditions who find their symptoms worsen due to their work may also find that their condition is considered an occupational disease.
Occupational diseases can make it difficult or impossible for you to continue supporting yourself and your family. Some examples of occupational diseases you might have the right to workers’ compensation benefits for include:
- Other types of cancers
- Respiratory infections
- Hearing loss
- Musculoskeletal disorders
- Infectious diseases
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Depression or anxiety
- Other mental health conditions
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
If you suffered another type of occupational disease and are exploring your options, you may be able to secure workers’ compensation benefits that could help you get through this difficult time. Get help finding out whether you qualify for benefits when you contact a workers’ compensation lawyer in Atlanta for help.
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Who Is Entitled to Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Almost every company across Georgia is required to provide their employees with workers’ compensation protection coverage. This means if you are injured or become ill due to your work, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. There are many misconceptions regarding workers’ compensation claims in Atlanta.
For example, some people assume you must have been employed with the company for a minimum of 90 days before being eligible for benefits. Others assume that you must work full-time hours to qualify. However, the amount of time you’ve been with a company and the number of hours you work each week does not determine your right to workers’ compensation benefits.
If you are considered an employee of the company, you should be protected from your first day of work. If your medical condition can be considered an occupational disease, you may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
What Workers’ Compensation Benefits Could You Be Entitled To?
When your occupational disease has taken over your life, it makes sense to wonder what benefits you could collect if your workers’ compensation claim was approved. Fortunately, the law allows for several types of workers’ compensation benefits, including:
- Disability benefits – Disability benefits are meant to replace a portion of your income while you are unable to work. Generally, you can expect to recover approximately 2/3 of your average weekly salary until you are capable of returning to work.
- Medical expenses – Your employer’s insurance company should be required to cover all of your medical expenses as they relate to the treatment and care of your occupational disease.
- Vocational rehabilitation – If your medical condition is so severe that you will no longer be able to continue working in the same industry, vocational rehabilitation benefits may be available so you can obtain the job training or education opportunities you need to secure gainful employment in another line of work.
- Death benefits – Surviving family members of someone who passed away from an occupational disease may be able to collect death benefits, including compensation for the coverage of the decedent’s funeral and burial expenses.
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Common Reasons Why Workers’ Compensation Claims for Occupational Diseases Are Denied
There are countless reasons why your workers’ compensation claim could have been denied. Occupational diseases are notoriously denied by the insurance company. The insurance company needs proof that your condition was caused within the scope of your employment.
Your healthcare provider’s medical records, statement of how your condition developed, and expert testimony could help prove your medical condition was caused by your employment. Some of the more common reasons the insurance company may give for denying your claim include:
- Failure to provide necessary medical documentation
- Failure to file your workers’ compensation claim in a timely manner
- Having a pre-existing condition
- Lack of supporting records
- Mistakes or missing information on your workers’ compensation application
Meet With a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Atlanta
Occupational diseases can take over your life. Make sure you secure the workers’ compensation benefits that are rightfully yours. Contact a dedicated Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer at Bader Scott Injury Lawyers for help preparing your claim or dealing with the appeals process. Reach out to our office for a free consultation today by phone or via our online contact form.