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Workers' benefit claims should be filed in a timely manner

Residents of Fairfield County may be aware of the consequences of claiming workers' compensation benefits too late. In the case of work-related illness or death, the victim or their dependents must request benefits within a stipulated period of time. Untimely filing may result in a rejection of the claim.

Recently, a Connecticut court ruled in favor of the widow of a worker who died of a heart attack while on a business trip. The man's employer contended that the claim was filed too late. However, the court held that the widow's claim for benefits was valid because it was filed within the state's statutory two-year window of time.

According to the medical examiner in this case, employment-related stress was the main cause of the man's heart attack. A cardiologist also agreed there was a link between the victim's work-related stress and his death.

Exposure to toxic chemicals, work-related stress and depression, repeated heavy lifting and allergic reactions to substances used in the workplace are all examples of factors that can lead to employee illness and disease. Many workers suffer from these ailments, which often develop over time. In some cases, employers try to avoid liability by arguing that the employee's illness is not work-related.

But with the help of an attorney experienced in worker's compensation law, an employee who suffers an illness due to work-related factors can recover costs for medical bills and lost wages. If a worker dies due to a work-related illness, their dependents can still seek workers' compensation benefits.

Either way, Connecticut law allows a victim two years from the date of an illness or injury to file a claim for compensation. The last thing a victim of work-related illness needs to worry about is the monetary cost that accompanies an illness, and worker's compensation law is designed to relieve this burden.

Source: Risk & Insurance, "Claim timely filed within 2 years of fatal heart attack," Nov. 1, 2012

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