Common Reasons For Receiving Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Pre-existing Conditions Made Worse By Workplace Conditions

If an employee has a pre-existing condition that is aggravated by the workplace, then workers’ compensation may award benefits to pay for medical expenses. For example, if an employee has back or neck problems that are worsened by sitting for extended periods of time, workers’ comp may provide damages awards to see a chiropractor or other licensed medical professional. Another example may be an employee with an anxiety disorder; the stress brought on by excessive tasks given by an employer may exasperate symptoms of anxiety to the point where they are unable to work for a period of time. Physical pre-existing conditions such as the former are more likely to be covered by workers’ compensation, but employees with psychological pre-existing conditions may be less likely to receive damages awards from workers’ comp. If a pre-existing psychological condition is worsened by workplace stress, trauma, or a hostile work environment, then it may be wise for the employee to consult with an attorney experienced in workers’ comp cases to discuss further options.

Personal Injuries Sustained on The Job

This is the most obvious reason an employee may receive workers’ compensation benefits. If an employee receives an injury such as a faulty ladder falling resulting in a broken leg, workers’ compensation should cover all medical expenses. If workers’ compensation fails to cover any and all medical expenses of an employee that sustained an injury as a direct result of an unsafe working environment, the employee may have the right to file a lawsuit against the employer to cover the medical expenses. Injuries that occur during breaks, lunch hours, and on workplace premises are generally covered by workers’ comp as well as injuries that occur on the clock.

Diseases Caused By Unsafe Working Conditions

Diseases caused by regular working conditions are generally covered by workers’ compensation. An employee that is diagnosed with lung cancer as a direct result of working in a coal mine or other various occupations may have medical expenses covered. In cases where extreme diseases are contractible due to the nature of the occupation, there may be a clause in the workers’ comp insurance that states the treatment of the disease will be covered. Alternatively, there may be diseases caused by certain occupations that have workers’ comp insurance policies that directly state that a specific disease contracted by employees will not be covered.

Psychological Conditions Caused By Trauma

Mental or psychological conditions that are caused by the workplace may or may not be covered by workers’ compensation, but any condition that is proven to be the result of workplace fault is generally covered by workers’ comp. There are three broad claims of psychological conditions for workers’ comp benefits. Physical-mental results from physical injury resulting in mental illness, such as a work-related back injury leading to depression. Mental-physical results from a (usually pre-existing) mental illness that causes physical symptoms, or mental-mental where a traumatic incident or stimulus in the workplace results in a psychological condition. At any point, do not hesitate to contact workers compensation lawyer Memphis TN for legal advice.


Thank you to Darrell Castle and Associates, PLLC for providing insight on workers’ compensation.