If I suffer from a severe chronic illness that my doctor believes is related to the work I do in Virginia, should I consider Workers’ Compensation?

The likelihood of recovery under Virginia’s Workers’ Compensation laws for a chronic illness will depend on the type of illness and whether the illness was directly caused by the work you perform. Even if your doctor attributes a chronic illness to your work, it may not be enough to be classified as an occupational disease that’s compensable under workers’ comp. A Virginia Workers’ Compensation attorney will help determine whether or not you qualify for Workers’ Compensation.

A chronic disease is classified as either an occupational disease or an ordinary disease of life. The first step is figuring out whether you suffer from an occupational disease or an ordinary life disease.  To be classified as an occupational disease, your illness must have been caused by an outside source the general population isn’t readily exposed to

For example, asbestosis is an example of an occupational disease caused by chemicals the general population does not normally encounter. On the other hand, diabetes is a medical condition that is classified as an ordinary life disease.

An ordinary life disease can be considered an occupational disease for purposes of workers’ comp if you have evidence showing the disease exists and arose out of and in the course of employment and:

  • follows as an occurrence of occupational disease;
  • is contagious and contracted from your employment in a health and emergency-related field; or
  • is an attribute of the employment.

Distinguishing between an occupational disease and a disease of ordinary life can be complicated. However, with the help of an experienced attorney, you can find out if your chronic illness may be covered under workers’ comp.

Call a Richmond, Virginia Workers Compensation Lawyer about Your Claim

If you are encountering obstacles with your work-related injury claim, an attorney can take some of the pain out of the process. Whether you plan on returning to work or collecting the benefits you may be entitled to, it is important to know your options for getting back on your feet. Order a copy of our free book to learn more about workplace injury statistics. Call today to get the Ultimate Guide to Workers’ Compensation in Virginia and speak to a Workers’ Comp attorney at the Injured Workers Law Firm for a no-cost consultation – 1-877-755-7744 or 1-804-755-7755.


About the Author:

The Injured Workers Law Firm is a Richmond, Virginia based firm solely focused on serving clients with workers' compensation claims in Virginia. If you have questions about your benefits or if you would like more information on the Virginia Workers’ Compensation system, order our book, “The Ultimate Guide to Workers’ Compensation in Virginia” , or call our office today (804) 755-7755.