Is Arthritis Covered Under Workers’ Compensation?
Did you know you have the right to file for workers’ compensation benefits when your work injury reactivates, accelerates your arthritis, or you develop degenerative disc disease? Often, employees who have these benefits for a preexisting injury, related to degenerative disc disease or arthritis are misunderstood which can be concerning. Having the opportunity to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer about such legal matters will allow you to decide how to deal with these conditions and choose the proper course of action.
The word arthritis refers to joint inflammation. Generally, it is used to describe many types of rheumatic conditions that directly affect someone’s joints (tissue around the joint and connective joint tissue). The following list is common types of arthritis:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE or lupus)
Arthritis symptoms vary, and the onset can be sudden or gradual. Symptoms commonly caused include redness, swelling, stiffness, pain around one or more joint, and you may experience a limitation of a function around the supportive body part.
Degenerative Disc Disease
A widespread condition that tends to lead to severe neck and lower back pain is also known as degenerative disc disease. Not classified as a disease, degenerative disc disease is a medical condition caused by a damaged spine-disc.
Most people experience this medical state because your spinal discs degenerate and lose their ability to take in shock naturally over time. If you injure a disc, you can aggravate and accelerate your degenerative condition. Usually, this pain is the result of another back or neck pain related injury. Such trauma is often classified as a ruptured disc, slipped disc, a tear in the outer corner of a disc, or a herniated disc.
Work Injuries That can Lead to the Aggravation of Such Conditions
Depending on your job, you may be more susceptible to aggravating a preexisting condition like degenerative disc disease or arthritis. If your job requires you to perform a repetitive motion, to remain sedentary for an extended period or includes high impact activity you are at a higher risk of provoking your arthritis. Examples of such jobs include assembly line work, construct work, typing, and other types of manual labor.
Similarly to arthritis, people with degenerative disc disease can trigger their condition through manual labor jobs that require twisting, turning, or repetitive heavy lifting. Repetitive motion labor injuries can seriously affect your health, and a workers’ compensation attorney can assist with the problem.
Aggravation of Degenerative Disc Disease and Arthritis related to Workers’ Compensation
When looking for workers’ comp benefits due to aggravated preexisting arthritis or degenerative disc disease, it is essential that you understand the conditions that are covered. Compensation could be redeemed regardless if the prior developed injury was work-related.
When submitting a workers’ comp claim for compensation related to an aggravated preexisting condition, that person must show for the injury and how it was work related. If the resulting disability prevents someone from working, then it needs to be documented.
If a disability did not stem from the initial injury does not mean a person cannot claim compensation for the given disability that was the outcome of a natural progression of said new injury. There’s a good chance the new work-related injury was a factor causing the prior condition and seeking the help of a workers’ comp attorney will help you determine if your case is justified.
How Workers’ Compensation Law Works for Degenerative Disc Disease and Arthritis
The laws of workers’ compensation require employers to have an insurance policy set that covers a workplace injury for employees. Compensation coverage is often available regardless of the employee’s prior physical condition or employer liability.
Here are the general legal eligibility requirements for any workers’ compensation claim:
- An employee suffers a work-related mental or physical injury
- The resulting disability hinders an employee from doing their job
- The employee must provide notice to their employer within the statutorily required period of time
While carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis might feel similar, and can both be justified as workers’ compensation cases, you should see a doctor to determine which condition it is for medical evidence.
Contact a Lawyer with Experience to Discuss the Aggravation of Your Degenerative Disc Disease or Arthritis
Given the time restrictions revolving around a workers’ compensation claim against your employer, it is crucial that you seek legal help promptly. By speaking to a lawyer with experience in this practice area, you will be able to feel at ease when it comes to your aggravated, preexisting injury. Here at the Law Offices of Craig Altman, we would be happy to help you throughout the claim process. Please contact us at (215) 703-9889 or visit our website for more information. We will provide you with a free consultation and help you win your case!
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