There are some scenarios in which employees proceed with confidence when requesting workers’ compensation benefits. If someone gets hurt by a shelving collapse in a warehouse or an electrical short in an office, they will probably recognize that they could file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. However, not every work-related medical condition is the result of a specific precipitating incident.
Sometimes, people slowly develop medical conditions by repeatedly performing the same job functions. A worker diagnosed with a condition caused by cumulative trauma, like knee injuries or carpal tunnel syndrome, would also potentially be eligible for workers’ compensation. Other workers may notice that their symptoms for an existing medical issue get worse after some time working in a new position. Can someone with a pre-existing condition that has worsened due to their job also file a claim?
Some pre-existing conditions may lead to benefits
The law in Florida seeks to clarify employer responsibilities to workers. Not only must employers provide appropriate workers’ compensation coverage for those hurt in specific incidents or diagnosed with new medical conditions, but they also sometimes have a degree of responsibility for pre-existing medical conditions when a job makes them worse.
If a worker’s job responsibilities have worsened their symptoms or resulted in a recurrence of symptoms that had previously subsided, then they probably qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. The more documentation someone has of how their condition has progressed, the easier it may be to prove that their employment is what has triggered their new or worsening symptoms. They may need to explain how their job responsibilities impacted their pre-existing condition.
Just like those diagnosed with a new repetitive stress disorder or a traumatic injury, those with a pre-existing condition may sometimes qualify for workers’ compensation benefits that can replace lost wages and cover their treatment expenses. Although more medical documentation may be necessary in these relatively complex scenarios, workers do have a right to seek benefits for any significant medical condition caused by their employment or worsened by their job.