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What should I know about workers' comp for occupational disease?

New York State workers who suffer from an occupational disease should know that they can get workers' compensation benefits, just as a worker who suffered a physical injury can. However, it is imperative to understand that there are certain differences to consider when seeking those benefits. With an occupational disease, it must be an issue that has come about because of exposure to certain conditions on the job. It is vital to remember that the disease is required to have been produced naturally from the occupation itself.

The workers' compensation benefits for an occupational disease are the same as they are for someone who was injured on the job. There is a different time limit when deciding to file the claim. It must be the later date of the following: two years from the date at which the disability came about; or two years from when the disabled worker knew or should have known that the disease came about because of the employment. The time limits are the same for family members if the worker has died. There can be a finding of disability if the person became ill and did not miss any work. A Workers' Compensation Law Judge will decide on the date at which the person became disabled.

For people who have suffered occupational hearing loss, there are separate time limits. The worker has the choice of the following: three months from the date at which the worker was no longer working where the harmful noise is; or three months after leaving the employment where the noise was taking place. The last day of either of these three-month time frames will be the date at which the disability commenced. It is possible to file after the two years if it has been done within 90 days of the worker discovering that the hearing loss is because of the job.

Often, people who have suffered an occupational disease will not even be aware that they are ill and can get workers' compensation benefits. In other instances, they miss the time limits for applying to get workers' compensation. When there is a belief that there is occupational disease, it is key to have legal assistance to pursue workers' compensation benefits. Calling immediately is a must.

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