How Can I Receive Worker’s Comp Benefits for an Occupational Disease?

worker suffers hearing loss on the jobWorkers who get injured on the job may be eligible to receive worker’s compensation benefits. These benefits can also extend to those who contract an occupational disease in the workplace. However, you must be able to prove that your illness was the result of conditions particular to your job.

If you have contracted an occupational disease while you were working, the Fox Valley-based worker’s compensation attorneys at Sigman Janssen are ready to help you obtain the benefits you need. An initial consultation is 100 percent free and comes with no obligation to retain our services.

Speak with a licensed attorney: (877) 888-5201

Covered Occupational Diseases

An occupational disease is a compensable condition under Wisconsin worker’s compensation law. It is defined as chronic physical or mental harm caused by exposure over a period of time to a work-related substance, condition or activity. Occupational diseases are not as easily recognized as accidental injuries.

Examples of covered occupational diseases include:

  • Hearing loss – Benefits may be payable if prolonged exposure to loud noises in the workplace causes permanent partial or total loss of hearing.
  • Tuberculosis – Workers can contract this infectious bacterial disease in hospitals, nursing homes and other environments that involve exposure to people who are sick.
  • Silicosis – This lung disease is caused by breathing in tiny bits of silica found in sand, quartz and other rocks. It mainly affects workers exposed to silica dust in construction and mining jobs.
  • Lead poisoning – The law provides for the payment of worker’s comp benefits for workers poisoned by lead and other toxic substances or materials.
  • Skin issues or infections – Workers who develop dermatitis or whose skin becomes inflamed or infected by oils, fumes, dust and other substances may be covered.   
  • Back problems – Hernias and back trouble caused by repetitive motion or repeated strain over a period of time are also considered occupational diseases under the law.
  • Respiratory diseases – Benefits may be payable if you developed a respiratory disease over a lengthy period of time while working in a polluted environment.

Other diseases not specifically listed may also be covered by worker’s compensation as long as certain requirements are met. We are prepared to review your claim in greater detail during a free case review.

Benefits Available for Injured Workers

Anyone injured at work or who contracts an occupational disease may be eligible to have all approved reasonable and necessary medical care covered by their employer. This includes:

  • Hospitalization
  • Surgeries
  • Doctor’s visits
  • Medical supplies
  • Travel costs for treatment
  • Medical examinations
  • Assistive equipment
  • Medications

Worker's compensation may also provide compensation to help cover the wages you lost if your temporary or permanent disability causes you to miss work for some time.

Filing a Worker’s Comp Claim for an Occupational Disease

With an occupational disease, you should notify your employer within 30 days from the time you knew about your condition and its connection to your employment.

However, if 30 days have passed, it is still possible to give notice to your employer within two years of the onset of the disease or the date you first noticed that the disease was caused by your workplace. 

Your employer then has seven days to report this information to his or her insurer. The insurer must submit the report to the Worker's Compensation Division of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD). The DWD will review the case to assess eligibility before investigating your claim.

There is no statute of limitations to file a worker’s comp claim for an occupational disease.

What If a Loved One Passes Away From an Occupational Disease?

The deceased worker’s surviving spouse or children may be eligible to receive death benefits. If there is no surviving spouse or children, other family members dependent on the deceased may be able to collect these benefits. The maximum death benefit is four times the deceased’s average earnings.

For 2021, the monthly maximum paid out to a surviving spouse is $4,740.66 with an aggregate limit of $328,200. Worker’s compensation also pays the deceased’s funeral and burial expenses up to $10,000.

Get Help with Your Claim Today

If you have contracted an occupational disease due to your work, It is important that you understand your rights and the benefits that may be available to you. Our attorneys have decades of experience helping injured workers with their worker’s compensation claims, including resolving disputed claims.

Our consultations are completely free and confidential. You are under no obligation to have us represent you, but if you do, we do not charge upfront fees. We only get paid if we help you receive benefits, so there is no risk to you. Reach out to our firm anytime, day or night, to get started today.

Find out if you have a case. Ph: (877) 888-5201