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What Counts as an Occupational Disease in NY?

by | Sep 19, 2018 | Asbestos, Occupational Diseases, Workers' Compensation

Across the nation, workers’ compensation involves two types of claims: claims involving workplace accidents and claims involving “occupational diseases.” Typically, a workplace accident will result in injuries, which can be temporary or permanent. Some injuries will heal, while others will never heal completely.

Occupational disease on the other hand, are a different breed entirely. These arise from unhealthful conditions that workers are exposed to as the nature of their jobs. Occupational diseases can be traced back to something a worker was exposed to and they are produced as a natural effect of the worker’s occupation. A perfect example of an occupational disease is asbestosis, which is linked to asbestos removal.


In New York, when a worker is disabled due to a work-related occupational disease, he or she is entitled to the exact same types of benefits that they’d receive for a workplace injury. The deadline for filing a workers’ compensation claim for an occupational disease is the later of the following dates:

  • Two years from the date the worker became disabled, or
  • Two years from the date that the individual know the occupational disease was work-related or should have known it was caused by their employment.

“What if I’m sick, but I’ve been working the whole time? Can I still receive compensation?” If a worker becomes will with an occupational disease, he or she could have gotten sick but continued working anyway. In these cases, a workers’ compensation law judge would have to review the facts of the case to determine the date the worker became disabled.

There are dozens of occupational diseases, too many to list here. But here are some examples:

  • Asthma
  • Occupational cancers
  • Miner’s nystagmus
  • Skin diseases
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Lung diseases
  • Upper airway disorders
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

Suggested Reading: What is an Occupational Disease?

Do you believe that you have fallen ill due to occupational exposure? To explore filing a workers’ compensation claim, contact our firm to speak with a Long Island workers’ compensation attorney.