Workers’ Compensation: Am I Eligible if My Pre-Existing Condition Worsens on the Job?

When out of work due to an injury sustained on the job, you will be wondering if expenses such as medical treatment and lost wages will be covered while you are in the recovery process. While out of work for a workers’ compensation claim, you will be left with many questions, especially if you have a pre-existing condition. It is likely that you will be wondering if you are still entitled to workers’ compensation benefits with a pre-existing condition that has worsened when on the job.

Injury by Accident

An injury by accident is when there is a change to the body mechanically or structurally that is caused by a specific and sudden event. The change that occurs mechanically can vary in severity, anywhere from swelling of the affected area to a broken bone. You may be able to receive workers’ compensation if you have a pre-existing condition that is accelerated or aggravated by an injury that takes place at work.

An Employer Must Acknowledge Pre-Existing Conditions

It is likely that you may have degenerative disc or joint disease (also known as arthritis) if you fall into the following categories:

  • Are over the age of 40
  • Suffered as the result of a car accident
  • Had previous surgeries
  • Worked in jobs that are physical or require physical labor for much of your life

An example of this is when a physical laborer must have back surgery due to the physical component to their job. If they receive another injury after returning to work, whether it be a fall or heavy lifting and the injury from before worsens, you will be entitled to workers’ comp.

In the state of Virginia, regardless of whether you have a pre-existing condition, or were hired with a clean bill of health, when it comes to workers’ compensation there is no difference between the two. If you have suffered from previous injuries, it will not impact the liability your employer has if you are injured on the job. If you are injured slowly over time or by an injury, your pre-existing condition is covered under workers’ compensation. Interestingly, when an injury worsens from repetitive motion, it can not be recognized under workers’ comp in the state of Virginia.

Unfortunately, in some cases, the insurance company may deny your claim for workers’ compensation when a pre-existing claim is present. Working with a workers’ compensation lawyer Milwaukee WI can count on who has experience can be helpful, especially when your claim has been denied. They will work with you to build your case with the evidence that is required for a successful claim.


Thanks to our contributors from Hickey & Turim, SC for their insight into pre-existing conditions and workers compensation claims.