It may start with a dull ache in your back toward the end of your shift that then starts flaring up earlier in the day as the month pass. Eventually, you have pain in your back and shoulders even when you are home on the weekends.
Your doctor orders imaging tests and eventually diagnoses you with degenerative disc disease. Years of being on your feet for 10 or 12 hours a day at work and constantly lifting and twisting have resulted in damage to your spine.
Unfortunately, the symptoms you currently experience are likely to only continue progressing. You may have to change your job responsibilities or consider early retirement because of your reduced strength, stamina and range of motion. Can you get workers’ compensation for a condition that slowly developed over years?
Yes, conditions related to repetitive job functions qualify for benefits
Although you will need proper documentation to support your claim, you can typically expect to receive workers’ compensation benefits for degenerative medical conditions related to your employment. Conditions like degenerative disc disease will not just prevent you from doing your current job but will also affect your future employment opportunities at other companies.
Workers’ compensation can pay for your medical care related to your condition, at least to the extent that you will recover or need to manage your symptoms. It can also replace up to two-thirds of your lost wages, both for reduced earning potential if you have to take a lower-paying job or a total loss of income if you have to retire early because of your condition.
Bigger claims often require more effort
For those adjusting to a diagnosis of a degenerative health condition that will have lasting lifestyle and medical consequences, proper testing to validate the extent of the condition’s impact will be crucial as you prepare to negotiate your workers’ compensation claim. Those trying to cope with a serious diagnosis and the loss or reduction of their household income may require support with the claims process so that they can get the benefits they need.
Learning more about how to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits will help those facing increasing restrictions on their work functions due to a degenerative condition.