An occupational disease is “a condition caused by exposure to workplace hazards.” It can be caused by exposure to chemicals, toxic substances, noise, radiation, and other potentially hazardous conditions.
If you have been diagnosed with a work-related illness, you may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits help you pay for medical care, lost wages, and other expenses associated with your illness.
To file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, you must follow a specific process. It is essential that you take the necessary steps to protect your rights, even though this process can be confusing and frustrating. This article describes in detail how to file a claim for occupational disease. It also details what to do if your claim is denied.
You may be eligible to file a claim for an occupational disease if you have been diagnosed with an illness caused by exposure to workplace hazards. To successfully file a claim, you must demonstrate that your condition is related to your employment. This can be determined using medical records, exposure records, and witness testimony.
There are five steps required to file a claim for occupational disease:
- Report your illness to your employer
You must immediately inform your employer of your illness. This may be accomplished orally or in writing. Include the date your diagnosis was made, your doctor’s name, and a description of your symptoms.
- Obtain a copy of your medical records
You must provide your employer with supporting medical documentation for your diagnosis. Include the date of your diagnosis, the name of your physician, and a description of your symptoms in these records.
- File a workers’ compensation claim form
Your employer or state’s workers’ compensation office can provide you with a workers’ compensation claim form. Be sure to fill out the form and attach all necessary documentation.
- Submit your claim form
After completing your claim form, you must submit it to your employer or the workers’ compensation office in your state.
- Wait for a decision
You must await a decision regarding your claim. Your employer, your state’s workers’ compensation office, or an independent review board will make this determination.
Depending on the nature and severity of the disease, the length of time required to process a claim for occupational disease varies. A few weeks to several months may be required to complete the procedure. In some instances, claims may take longer to process if the condition is complex, or the diagnosis is contested.
If you have been diagnosed with a work-related illness, you must contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer who can guide you through the claims process. At Gaylord and Nantais, we have vast experience handling claims for a variety of occupational diseases. We are here to assist you in obtaining the appropriate compensation. Contact us at (562) 561-2669 to schedule a complimentary consultation.