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Which injuries qualify for workers' comp?

If you are a worker who has been injured on the job, you may be wondering how you will get by with unexpected costs and a lack of income. Luckily, the workers' compensation insurance program exists to aid injured workers with financial benefits to pay for medical costs and lost income.

Workers' compensation insurance rules vary from state to state, but the basics are the same. Filing these claims can sometimes be confusing, and in some cases, your claim for benefits can be denied. This can be devastating for a person dealing with the losses associated with injuries.

The two main requirements

The most basic requirement for workers' comp benefits is that the person injured must be an employee. Unfortunately, an independent contractor will not qualify for workers' comp benefits. Secondly, the individual must have been injured while working, within the scope of his or her employment. Those guidelines are very simple, and can potentially leave you with more questions about specific types of work-related injuries.

Emotional and mental health issues

Do emotional and mental health issues count? These types of claims can be tough to prove. For claims dealing with substance abuse or alcohol, you will have to prove that drinking alcohol (or using the substance) was a part of your job duty. This is unlikely, but not impossible.

Other emotional issues, like anxiety and stress, are not eligible for workers' comp benefits in every state. For the most up-to-date rules for Louisiana, you might want to contact a local state lawyer. Generally, you will also have to prove that the anxiety or stress is directly related to your job and not attributable to some other cause.

Rare injuries

There are also some rare and unusual injuries that you might have questions about. For injuries like frostbite, a worker would be eligible if the job requires him or her to be outside working in the cold for extended periods. Other individuals may be curious about whether you can get workers' comp for Zika. It is possible, but again, the burden is on you to prove that the virus was contracted on the job, and not some other time.

Other special cases certainly exist, and for the most part, all injuries that come as a direct result of work that you performed as an employee will qualify. An experienced attorney can answer all of your questions and concerns while guiding you through the process, and can also help fight against any claims you believe were wrongfully denied. 

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