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Can I Get Workers' Compensation for My Heart Condition?

You may already be aware that workers' compensation covers most injuries and certain health conditions you sustain on the job. However, you might find yourself wondering if cardiac disease and strokes qualify.

Many employers and the medical community are aware of how taxing toxic work environments and stress are on employee health. They are also aware that heart disease and heart attacks can occur from other causes that have nothing to do with work.

You may not have a history of health problems. However, you work in a physically and mentally demanding job that exposes you to high levels of stress and puts you at risk of developing heart disease or suffering a stroke. Both are medical conditions that you are likely to recover from. However, you may not be able to return to work in your former capacity or at all.

Stipulations for heart condition claims apply

You can file a claim to receive workers' compensation benefits if you suffer a heart attack or develop heart disease. But, you must prove your condition is causatively connected to your employment or workplace environment.

Workers' compensation applicants face an uphill battle

Unlike most physical injuries that happen on the job, cardiac conditions are not easy to link to work activities. Workers' compensation claims for heart attack and disease are challenging to prove. Heart disease and strokes can occur from having a poor diet, an unhealthy lifestyle and preexisting conditions. In general, you would need evidence to prove that any pre-existing or pre-injury heart problems were aggravated beyond a normal progression based on stress and physical demands of your job. That may be a tall task--but it can occur if a cardiologist supports such a claim.

Even if you have medical documentation to support your claim, your employer may deny it for a variety of reasons. An initial denial of workers' compensation benefits is not final. You have the right to file an appeal. To avoid problems with your claim that could result in delays or a denial, it is wise to speak with an attorney for guidance.

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