Workers’ Compensation Covers Occupational Diseases

An occupational disease 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, skin conditions caused by exposure to chemicals at work, hearing loss by exposure to loud noises or cancer caused by exposure to carcinogens in the workplace.

If you work in New York and become disabled by a work-related occupational disease, you have access to the same benefits offered for an on-the-job injury. However, the statute of limitations for filing your workers' compensation claim is different than the standard time frame. For occupational diseases, 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 employment.

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

If you have become ill from an occupational disease, you may be disabled even if there is no lost time from work. For purposes of determining your right to benefits, the date of disablement is determined by a workers' compensation law judge.

At the law firm of Jonathan H. Poznansky, Attorney at Law, we serve New York and New Jersey residents who work in the Staten Island and Brooklyn areas, who need assistance in establishing their right to workers' compensation benefits and further help seeking fair and full coverage for their losses.

Disability Classifications For Occupational Diseases

If suffering from an occupational disease, your health care provider will determine the extent of your disability. Cash benefits are directly related to the following disability classifications:

  • Temporary total disability — Your wage-earning capacity is lost totally, but only on a temporary basis.
  • Temporary partial disability Your wage-earning capacity is lost only partially, and on a temporary basis.
  • Permanent total disability — Your wage-earning capacity is permanently and totally lost. There is no limit on the number of weeks payable.
  • Permanent partial disability — Part of your wage-earning capacity has been permanently lost on the job. Benefits are payable as long as the partial disability exists, except for schedule loss of use (see below). If there are no reduced earnings as the result of the partial disability, only medical benefits are payable.
  • Schedule loss — This is a special category of permanent partial disability, and involves loss of eyesight or hearing, or loss of use of a limb or digit. Compensation is limited to a certain number of weeks, according to a schedule set by law.
  • Disfigurement — Serious and permanent disfigurement to the face may entitle the worker to compensation up to a maximum of $20,000, depending upon the severity of the disfigurement.

Even though your medical provider will opine as to the extent of your disability, the workers' compensation benefits offered to you may be less than you are entitled to. Having an experienced attorney on your side while seeking maximum relief for your losses will prove invaluable to your case.

Contact Us For A Free Initial Consultation

If an occupational disease has left you unable to work, the lawyers at Jonathan H. Poznansky, Attorney at Law, are ready to help you seek compensation for your losses. We offer free initial consultations, and we work on a contingency basis — meaning we only collect fees if we are able to close your case successfully. Call us at 347-201-7696 or contact us online to schedule your consultation.