Can I Claim Worker’s Compensation Benefits if I Have Osteoarthritis?

A person experiencing knee pain

Osteoarthritis is a medical condition where the cartilage between your bones starts to wear down, causing the bones in the area to rub against each other, bone-on-bone. Osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis. According to the CDC, over 32.5 million adults in the US suffer from this condition, and a person’s occupation can be the main reason why people suffer from it.

People suffering from osteoarthritis may be eligible to obtain California’s Worker’s Comp benefits. Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim can give workers some time that they require to recover and provide them with income-replacement benefits and medical benefits until they’re safe to return to work. If an osteoarthritis diagnosis causes disability you may qualify for Permanent Disability benefits and future medical care for life work injuries.

If you have osteoarthritis symptoms, you shouldn’t work through the pain. Here’s what you can do.

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Can I Claim Workers Compensation Benefits for Osteoarthritis?

If you’ve been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, you may file a Workers’ Comp claim.

When we think of a work-related injury in California, we picture horrible ideas about catastrophic accidents. While they may be terrible events, some work injuries are more subtle. Injuries like osteoarthritis affect millions of California workers, many continue to work in pain as they believe they have no options.

Unfortunately, the reality is that a lot of workers are forced to work even when they’re in pain. They’re made to feel insignificant and weak for taking some time off and getting the right medical treatment for an issue that’s not visible to the eye.

Please note that your symptoms for osteoarthritis can worsen if you don’t get it treated. Therefore, workers dealing with osteoarthritis symptoms should get them checked by a doctor to get a diagnosis and treatment.

The California Workers’ Compensation system enables people suffering from osteoarthritis to obtain benefits if their condition is caused or made worse by work. But you can expect difficulties in getting your claim approved. You will need to prove that your injury/condition caused or contributed to your osteoarthritis.

If you suffer from a traumatic injury, you may be able to show that the trauma aggravated osteoarthritis. On the other hand, you may be able to show that your job had repetitive stressful duties and conditions that caused your osteoarthritis.

Issues can spring up anytime a person seeks workers’ comp benefits due to an occupational disease initially caused by non-job-related reasons. Osteoarthritis can fall into that category. Therefore, employers and insurance companies may deny workers’ comp claims that are rooted in an osteoarthritis diagnosis. The insurer may claim  that the person developed osteoarthritis from outside the workplace and that the work did not make this condition worse.

Did You Get Injured on the Job in California?

The Law Office of Harley Merritt is there to help. We’ve been serving injured workers in Butte, Tehama, Glenn, Colusa, Plumas, Shasta, and Lassen, Yuba and Sutter counties for the past 25 years. You can get in touch with us for a free consultation.

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