It is common knowledge that nearly all employers in Illinois are required to carry worker’s compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation exists to support employees who become injured during the course of their employment. Workers’ compensation allows injured workers to claim benefits for injuries such as broken limbs or even death. What some people may not realize is that many illnesses or diseases that are developed by employees through their line of work can also be eligible for compensation under the Illinois Workers’ Occupational Diseases Act.
Understanding Qualifying Diseases
The most difficult part about a claim for an occupational disease is proving that the situation is actually work-related. The Act does not list any specific diseases that qualify for compensation, but states that any disease that arises, “out of an in the course of the employment,” or any condition that, “has become aggravated and rendered disabling as a result of the exposure of the employment,” is a qualifying disease for reasons of the Act. However, the Act also states that the illness or disease must be one that arises from a risk that is normally or in most cases specific to or increased by the work and, “not common to the general public.” Some common diseases or illnesses that could be included are:
- Reproductive diseases
- Hearing loss
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
Recovering Compensation For Your Illness
In most cases, claims for an occupational disease must be filed within two years of the last day of exposure to the thing causing the disease. In certain cases, such as those involving the inhalation of silica or asbestos dust, claims must be filed within three years. Diseases relating to exposure to radiation have up to 25 years to be filed. If the claim is filed within the appropriate amount of time, benefits can be collected. These benefits would be the same as if they were being paid out for a work injury. Benefits for an occupational illness or disease can include:
- Monetary benefits, such as permanent total or partial disability
- Medical costs
- Death and/or burial benefits
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
Our Aurora, IL Workers’ Compensation Attorney is Here to Help
When it comes to proving an occupational disease, things are not as clear-cut as they are when proving a work injury. Sometimes, the cause of a disease or illness can be contested by your employer, leading to delayed or denied benefits. If you need help recovering compensation for an occupational illness, you should speak to the team at Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur P.C. Our skilled team of Kane County workers’ compensation lawyers has the experience and knowledge needed to get you a fair settlement. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 630-907-0909.