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Obtaining Workers’ Compensation benefits for occupational disease

Many workers in Ohio have contracted illnesses that were caused by the conditions under which they worked. Such illnesses are referred to as “occupational diseases.” A person who has contracted an occupational disease that was caused by work-related conditions may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

A medical diagnosis must confirm the existence of the disease and the causal connection between the disease and one or more work-related conditions. Also, the conditions of the individual’s employment that caused the disease must create a greater chance of a worker contracting the disease than the chance faced by the general public. Among the possible causes of occupational disease are:

  • Gases, dust or fumes;
  • Toxic Substances;
  • Chemicals;
  • Extreme changes in noises, temperature and pressure;
  • Vibration, a radioactive ray, constant use that results in pressure or a physical movement that constitutes constant repetition;
  • Infectious organisms;
  • Radiation.

The Ohio workers compensation statute contains a complete list of recognized occupational diseases. In order to receive benefits, the worker must exhibit symptoms of the disease in question. Mere exposure to one or more of the above-stated causes is not sufficient to sustain a claim for occupational disease resulting in benefits.

Anyone who has been diagnosed as having an occupational disease may wish to consult an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation law. A knowledgeable attorney can provide a helpful analysis of the case, assist the claimant in filing the claim and present supporting evidence.

Source: Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, “What is an occupational disease claim?,” accessed on Nov. 19, 2016

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