(On-the-Job Injury or Illness)
An occupational disease arises from the conditions to which a specific type of worker is exposed. The disease must be produced as a natural incident of a particular occupation, such as asbestosis from asbestos removal.
A person disabled by a work-related occupational disease receives the same benefits as for an on-the job injury. However, the time limit for filing a claim is the later of two dates:
- Two years from the date of the disabled worker's disability; or
- Two years from the time the disabled worker knew or should have known that the disease was due to the nature of employment.
(In the case of death, the dependents must file within the stated time limits).
When a worker becomes ill from an occupational disease, he/she may be disabled even if there is no lost time from work. For purposes of determining the employee's right to benefits, the date of disablement is determined by a Workers' Compensation Law Judge.
Occupational Hearing Loss
In the event of occupational loss of hearing, other time limits apply. The waiting period for a worker to file a claim is his/her choice of:
- Three months from the date the worker is removed from the harmful noise in the workplace; or
- Three months after leaving the employment in which the exposure to the harmful noise occurred.
The last day of either 3-month period is considered the date the disability began. The worker may file beyond the two-year limit, if it is done within ninety days of knowledge that the hearing loss is related to his/her employment.