A reader asks: I’m trying to get workers’ compensation for carpal tunnel. When I applied in 2011 for the job, I did not mention that I had a carpal tunnel problem back in 2002. The application question was “have you had prior injuries to your neck, back, arms, legs, hands, etc.” I simply forgot about it because it was so long ago and I haven’t had any problems since. Does this disqualify me for workmans comp?
It’s never a good idea to lie, but in this case it doesn’t appear that the worker lied, but instead just forgot. Either way, it should not at all disqualify you from receiving Illinois workers’ compensation benefits.
The real question is did your job cause, aggravate OR accelerate your medical problem. Even if there was something pre-existing, it doesn’t matter. If this guy was treating for carpal tunnel when he got hired, he’d have a hard time winning his case. But if you are healthy and then get worse from doing your job, that should be a case that you win every time.
Now I’m not a labor lawyer and maybe they can fire this guy for lying on a job application (although that would be really weak). But there is no way this case should be denied and I suspect that if he hires a lawyer who knows what they are doing, the problem will soon be solved.
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