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Occcupational disease and a worker's compensation claim

When most people think about workers' compensation, the first thing that comes to mind is a workplace injury. For example, somebody who was injured by falling off a ladder or tripping over a piece of debris.

However, there are other circumstances that can result in a workers' compensation claim. An example of this would be an occupational disease.

In short, an occupational disease is one that comes about as the result of a particular occupation, trade or process of which you are exposed.

Do you have reason to believe that you're suffering from an occupational disease? In this case, you need to understand what the State Board of Workers' Compensation takes into consideration:

-- The worker had a direct casual connection between the disease and the conditions under which the job is performed.

-- The disease was a natural incident associated with exposure due to employment.

-- The disease is not one that the employee may have had exposure to outside of the workplace.

-- The disease is not one that the ordinary public is exposed to.

-- The disease must have its origin in a risk associated with employment.

With all this in mind, there is often gray area associated with making a workers' compensation claim for an occupational disease. As a result, it's not uncommon for this type of claim to be denied the first time around.

If your workers' compensation claim is denied, it's time to learn more about the appeal process. In some cases, all you need to do is provide more information on your occupational disease in order to have the original ruling overturned.

Source: Georgia State Board of Workers' Compensation, "Workers' Compensation Supervisor's Manual," accessed Feb. 03, 2017

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