3 Things You Should Know About the Illinois Workers’ Occupational Diseases Act

When considering workers’ compensation, many people only think of the most obvious on-the-job injuries. However, some workers face different hazards that can cause diseases or conditions for years after their employment ends. The Illinois Workers’ Occupational Diseases Act covers situations involving diseases and conditions caused by employment. Please read on to learn more about Illinois law covering occupational diseases.

Specific Diseases Not Listed

In the Illinois Workers’ Occupational Diseases Act (the “Act”), occupational disease is defined as:

“… a disease arising out of and in the course of the employment or which has become aggravated and rendered disabling as a result of the exposure of the employment.”

An occupational disease needs to have been caused or aggravated because of a risk connected with a workers’ employment.

Although the Act does not provide a list of occupational diseases, it does refer to respirable diseases suffered by miners. A miner who dies from a respirable disease after working in the mines for at least ten years is presumed to have died due to pneumoconiosis.

People employed as firefighters, emergency medical technicians, or paramedics for five years or more also may have a rebuttable presumption for certain diseases and conditions.

Time Limits to File a Claim Based on Exposure

Generally, a condition might be considered an occupational disease if it occurs within two years after the last day the worker was exposed. However, some occupational diseases show up more than two years after the worker is exposed. Workers exposed to silica or asbestos dust have an extended deadline of three years after the last exposure. The deadline is twenty-five years after the last day of exposure for workers exposed to radiological materials or equipment.

Type of Benefits Available

With workers’ compensation claims, benefits depend on the injury. Generally, though, an injured worker may receive the following benefits:

  • Medical treatment relevant to the injury;
  • Financial support paid while the employee is unable to work;
  • Assistance returning to work.

The Act also provides another way to compensate people suffering from occupational diseases. Civil lawsuits may be filed for injuries or death.

Does the Illinois Workers’ Occupational Diseases Act Apply to You?

Discuss your potential claim with a qualified attorney to learn more about your options.

At Osvaldo Rodriguez, PC, we have over 20 years’ experience helping clients with nursing home injuries and neglect. Schedule a free initial consultation with Osvaldo Rodriguez, a lawyer who has dedicated his career to assisting people like you. Just call us at 708-716-3441 or fill out the Contact form on our website. We represent clients throughout the state of Illinois, including Chicago, Addison, Bellwood, Bensenville, Berwyn, Chicago, Cicero, Elmwood Park, Franklin Park, Maywood, Melrose Park, Northlake, and all of Cook County, Lake County, Kane County, Dupage County and Will County.

Mr. Rodriguez is fluent in both Spanish and English.

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