Generally, employees cannot claim workers’ compensation benefits for pre-existing medical conditions since the system only provides benefits to those who suffer injuries in the course and scope of their jobs.
However, certain circumstances allow workers with pre-existing medical conditions to apply for workers’ comp benefits.
Requirements for coverage
Workers’ comp pays for the aggravation of your pre-existing condition, not the condition itself, if you sufficiently prove the following circumstances:
- You have a pre-existing condition or injury.
- You suffered from a new work-related injury.
- Your current work-related injury aggravates your pre-existing condition or injury.
The board reviewing your case will evaluate the degree of aggravation and whether you have previously made a claim for your old injury to determine the extent of benefits you can claim for the current one. For instance, if your current work injury aggravates a pre-existing injury you previously received workers’ comp benefits for, your employer only has to pay for the aggravation of your injury under the new claim.
Moreover, under Georgia rules, a claim is no longer compensable if the aggravation resolves and the employee’s condition returns to how it was before the new injury happened.
Do not let the complex system discourage you
Workers’ compensation laws on pre-existing conditions can be confusing. Several rules apply depending on the circumstances, which can be tricky for those navigating the system to make a claim. Nonetheless, the benefits of workers’ compensation outweigh the daunting process you must go through.
If you are hesitating to make a claim because of a pre-existing condition, you can have an experienced workers’ comp attorney evaluate your case and help you explore your options.