Injuries happen for a variety of reasons throughout a person’s life. At any given point in time, a person carries his or her medical history which includes prior medical conditions and injuries. These pre-existing conditions can affect a person’s ability to obtain health insurance and can cause potential complications for workers’ compensation if the person suffers a subsequent workplace injury.
How Pre-Existing Conditions Impact Workers’ Compensation
If you have been injured in a workplace accident, you are generally entitled to workers’ compensation benefits regardless of who was at fault for the accident. Workers’ compensation benefits are paid by the employer’s insurance company, but it is the employee’s obligation to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
Moreover, employers are generally required to provide workers’ compensation for those workplace injuries that are exacerbations of a pre-existing condition. Despite the fact that prior non-workplace injuries generally should not affect your ability to collect workers’ compensation benefits for a workplace injury, many workers’ compensation insurance companies will seek to limit workers’ compensation benefits based on the pre-existing condition. For this reason, it is critical to consult with a skilled workers’ compensation attorney like the Chicago workplace accident lawyers at Ankin Law Office, LLC. We can help advocate on your behalf to get you the workers’ compensation benefits to which you are entitled.
In order to properly file a workers’ compensation claim, the injured employee must let his or her doctors and the insurance carrier know about the pre-existing medical condition or prior injury. The failure to do so could seriously hinder his or her right to workers’ compensation benefits, and could also subject the injured employee to fraud charges.
Pre-Existing Conditions and Disability Benefits
Many times people who have pre-existing medical conditions, such as cancer or diabetes, are unable to secure health insurance. Fortunately, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires all insurers to puts an end to discrimination based on pre-existing conditions beginning in 2014. Until that time, individuals with pre-existing medical conditions who are unable to purchase health insurance can use the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP).
Since many individuals with pre-existing medical conditions are receiving Social Security disability benefits, such as SSDI or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight is working with the Social Security Administration (SSA) to inform disabled Americans of their rights with respect to securing health insurance in light of a pre-existing medical condition.
Committed Legal Counsel to Disabled and Injured Individuals
At Ankin Law Office, LLC, our Chicago accident and injury attorneys focus on helping injured and disabled individuals obtain the compensation and benefits to which they are entitled via workers’ compensation, Social Security disability, or other legal protections. If you have been injured in a workplace accident or suffer from a pre-existing medical condition, contact our office at (312) 600-0000 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Chicago disability attorneys.