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Can I Pursue a Workers’ Compensation Claim if I Get Sick While On the Job?Most people have heard of workers' compensation. All employers in the state of Illinois are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance that helps take care of employees if they are injured on the job. However, accidents are not the only way you can be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. In some circumstances, you can also file a claim under the Illinois Workers’ Occupational Diseases Act if you have contracted an illness or have become sick as a result of your work environment.

What Diseases Qualify for a Claim?

There are a variety of situations in which you may be eligible to claim compensation through the Illinois Workers’ Occupational Disease Act. However, there are no specific diseases or conditions listed that qualify. Rather, the Act states that any employee is eligible if they suffer disablement, impairment, disfigurement, or death and such injury is caused by a disease, “arising out of and in the course of his or her employment.” The Act also states that any pre-existing condition that is aggravated because of a person’s employment may also be covered. Common diseases and illnesses that may be covered under the Act can include:

  • Asthma
  • Hearing loss
  • HIV
  • Tuberculosis
  • Reproductive disorders
  • Dermatitis

What Benefits Can Be Recovered?

If a person is suffering from an occupational disease, they must file their claim within a specific period of time in order for it to be valid. In most cases, a claim must be filed within two years from the last day that the employee was exposed to the condition that caused the illness. If the claim is found to be valid, the employee or his or her family members can claim benefits that may or may not include:

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