Simply put, the fact that you have a preexisting condition does not inhibit your ability to pursue a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Vermont law says that if you have a preexisting condition then experience a similar work injury that further aggravated your condition, this injury will be deemed compensable, entitling you to workers’ compensation benefits. When your preexisting condition stems from something outside of your work, the question is solely whether or not your current work made it any worse.
What if my Preexisting Condition Came From a Previous Job?
It does not matter if your preexisting condition occurred outside of work, at your current employer, or while you were employed previously. However, if your preexisting condition resulted from a previous work injury, and then is further exacerbated at your new workplace, this means that both employer’s insurance companies may try to avoid paying for your current ailments and try to lay them blame on one another. Your previous employer/insurance will say you suffered a new injury or aggravated your prior injury, but the new employer/insurance company will claim that you never actually fully recovered from the previous injury and that you’re experiencing a recurrence of that injury. Ultimately, both insurance are hoping that the Department of Labor will order the other party to pay you benefits.
Will I Still Receive Benefits?
Luckily, when there’s a dispute of this nature, the Department of Labor usually orders one of them to pay your benefits while everything gets sorted out. This means that you won’t have to go without any benefits simply because no one can agree on the cause of your current condition.
An experienced Vermont workers’ compensation attorney can help you navigate this confusing terrain and get you the benefits you deserve.