Workers’ compensation insurance is meant to cover injuries related to your job.
But not all work-related injuries are the result of just one accident.
The human body can suffer long-term damage from repetitive actions or exposure to harmful chemicals over an extended period of time.
This type of workers’ compensation claim is an occupational disease claim.
Occupational disease: a disease or infection caused by substances or activities a worker is exposed to during employment.
Filing an occupational disease claim through workers’ comp
Under Oregon law, almost all employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance on their employers.
To open a workers’ comp claim for a work-related disease, you fill out Oregon Form 801, Worker’s and Employer’s Report of Occupational Injury or Disease/Illness, for your employer.
The employer submits the form to the insurance company. They have 60 days to accept or deny your claim.
Nearly all occupational disease claims are denied.
Occupational disease claims can be difficult to prove, for several reasons.
Sometimes, the damage is not evident for many years after exposure. It might not be possible to prove that there wasn’t another cause for an injury or illness. You would need to have a medical exam with an independent doctor.
It is your right to file an appeal.
A workers’ compensation lawyer can help you prepare and file an appeal.
Did your job cause an illness or disease?
If you have medical problems due to your job or work environment, you may be able to access workers’ compensation insurance.
Chemical Exposure Injuries
People who are exposed to dangerous chemicals at work have a right to protection.
Often, people are not aware of the potential danger—making them more vulnerable to exposure and injury from toxic substances, paint, fuel, solvents or dust.
You may have an occupational disease claim if you suffered an illness or injury because of chemical exposure in the workplace.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Repetitive motion causes carpal tunnel syndrome. The median nerve, running from the wrist to the hand, becomes compressed and inflamed.
It’s one of the most common workplace injuries.