Disease victims don’t always receive workers’ compensation

In many industries, employees are exposed to substances that can cause bodily harm. If a person is injured or becomes ill on the job, he or she has the right to collect workers’ compensation benefits.

Despite the fact that the workers’ compensation system is in place for this reason, there is often a challenge standing in the way: The employer does not always want to cooperate.

In a piece published by Truthout, a woman tells the story of how it has been eight years since she filed a wokers’ compensation claim on behalf of her husband. After four and a half years of fighting, a judge finally stepped in and agreed that the man became ill as the result of chemical exposure.

The judge made this decision in 2012, and the man passed away in 2014. Even so, his wife continues to fight in an attempt to be compensated for lost wages and medical bills.

Unfortunately, this sort of trouble is all too common. It is difficult enough to receive workers’ compensation benefits when a person can prove a physical injury, such as an amputation, but things are even more challenging when a chemically induced illness is the cause.

Proving workplace chemical exposure can be a challenge, which is something employers are well aware of. By using this to their advantage, companies are often in position to avoid paying a workers’ compensation claim.

If a person becomes ill on the job as the result of chemical exposure, it is imperative to collect as much evidence as possible. This will come in handy when making a workers’ compensation claim in an attempt to receive compensation.

Source: Truthout, “Disease Victims Often Shut Out of Workers’ Comp System,” Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Center for Public Integrity, Nov. 13, 2015

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