Injuries and Illnesses Covered by Workers’ Compensation

Different states have different rules governing workers’ compensation. However, a general requirement is that the injury must occur during the course of employment and arise from it. Some people think that this requirement narrows the scope of medical conditions that can qualify for workers’ compensation, but actually the opposite is true. If your illness or injury can be connected back to work, however indirectly, you can usually receive compensation for it. Here is an overview of injuries and illnesses that may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.


A traumatic injury that results from work in the presence of witnesses obviously qualifies for workers’ compensation. It is difficult for employers and insurance companies to challenge the validity of a claim such as this. However, there are also injuries that result not from one single trauma but from repetitive overuse over time. Although it can be more difficult to prove that such injuries arise from work, they nevertheless qualify for workers’ compensation.

You can also recover compensation if your work activities aggravate a pre-existing condition. Collecting compensation can be tricky because you can only recover compensation for the portion of your pain that was caused by work. It usually requires the help of a doctor to make this determination.


Sometimes your work puts you at a specific risk of developing a particular illness. For example, people in a number of industries are at risk of developing lung conditions from inhaling asbestos fibers. It is easier to make the link between your job and a particular disease in situations such as these.

Your job may also contribute to conditions considered ordinary diseases of life. These include conditions such as high blood pressure, certain cancers, or heart disease. It may be possible to collect workers’ compensation for conditions such as these. However, you must collect more medical evidence to demonstrate that work was a significant causative or contributive factor.

If the disease is one that is communicable via human contact, you may have to prove that you faced a greater risk of exposure beyond the risk to the general public as a consequence of your job. For example, if you are a health care provider employed in a hospital that treats patients with the condition.The difficulty in collecting workers’ compensation often lies in proving that the condition is work related. Employers and insurance companies may try to argue otherwise to protect their own interests. Long Island work injury attorneys from the law office of Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, P.C. can help you with the demanding task of gathering evidence and presenting your case.