Workers Comp 101: Occupational Disease and hearing loss

The Law Offices of Joseph A. Romano, P.C. on Tuesday, July 18, 2017.

Did you know Workers' Compensation isn't specific to a one time injury? An Occupational Disease is when you are injured as a result of your profession over time. A person hurt via an occupational disease could get the same benefits as an on-the-job injury.

Occupational Disease (OD)

An OD arises from the conditions to which a specific type of worker is exposed. The disease must be produced as a natural incident of a particular occupation, such as asbestosis from asbestos removal.

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A person disabled by a work-related occupational disease receives the same benefits as for an on-the job injury. However, the time limit for filing a claim is the later of two dates:

  • Two years from the date of the disabled worker's disability; or
  • Two years from the time the disabled worker knew or should have known that the disease was due to the nature of

(In the case of death, the dependents must file within the stated time limits).

When a worker becomes ill from an occupational disease, he/she may be disabled even if there is no lost time from work. For purposes of determining the employee's right to benefits, the date of disablement is determined by a Workers' Compensation Law Judge.

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Occupational Hearing Loss

In the event of occupational loss of hearing, other time limits apply. The waiting period for a worker to file a claim is his/her choice of:

  • Three months from the date the worker is removed from the harmful noise in the workplace; or
  • Three months after leaving the employment in which the exposure to the harmful noise

The last day of either 3-month period is considered the date the disability began. The worker may file beyond the two-year limit, if it is done within ninety days of knowledge that the hearing loss is related to his/her employment.

You can have OD cases for more than one part of your body at a time. OD Knees, ankles, wrists could also occur simultaneously depending on the type of work you do. Other forms of Workers Compensation awards such as Schedule loss of use can also occur. It's best to consult a doctor and attorney to discuss your specific circumstances.

**This information is based on New York State. Each state may be different. This blog post is for informational purposes. Your specific circumstances may vary from the information provided. Every case is different. Prior results do not guarantee future outcomes. The contents contained in this post do not establish an attorney-client relationship. Please contact us before sending confidential or time-sensitive material**

Tags: workers' compensation, occupational disease

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