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Could my job cause asthma and require workers’ comp benefits?

On Behalf of | Mar 9, 2022 | workers' compensation

Certain work environments may expose employees to substances that cause occupational diseases such as asthma. Nebraska’s Workers’ Compensation Act allows you to apply for benefits to recover from an occupational disease even if you may have had a preexisting condition.

As noted on the Nebraska Legislature’s website, when an illness “arises out of and in the course of” your regular job tasks, you may qualify for workers’ compensation. Medical issues associated with your employment duties or workplace environment generally qualify as work-related illnesses.

Toxic work environments may cause asthma

The law may recognize a preexisting condition such as asthma as an occupational disease if a toxic work environment worsens the condition. As reported by the Mayo Clinic, occupational asthma results from working in an environment with dust, gases or chemical fumes.

Symptoms of work-related asthma include coughing and shortness of breath. If you experience worsening symptoms while carrying out your duties and get better when you go home, you may have occupational asthma. Lengthy and continuous exposure at work could eventually result in permanent asthma.

Harmful substance exposure may require seeing a doctor

At least 250 harmful substances found in workplaces may cause occupational asthma. If you work with chemicals, metals, animals or plants, your work environment may cause severe breathing problems. Preexisting allergies or other respiratory issues may increase the risk of developing work-related asthma.

If you begin experiencing breathing problems that do not go away, you may visit a doctor for tests and treatment. If your condition becomes disabling and you can no longer carry out your work duties, you may apply for workers comp. You may also need to take time off to recover.

Nebraska’s statutes require employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. If you become ill because of your job, you have the right to seek medical treatment and file a claim for benefits.