Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Post-Injury Disabilities: A Case Study

If you are disabled by many causes, or disabled from working due to causes not related to your work injury, such as cancer, an illness, or an injury when not working, you may still be entitled to Full Worker’s Compensation Disability Benefits.

Recently, our firm represented a man who was hurt at work, and suffered many limitations because of his injury. The Department of Labor and Industries paid time loss benefits for a while, but after this man suffered a significant stroke and could not get medical treatment that would allow him to be employable again, the Department of L & I quickly cut off his benefits and closed his case, stating he was disabled for reasons that were not related to his Labor and Industries injury.

Our firm litigated and argued for this client, asserting, and eventually proving, that he was disabled after the injury, whether he suffered a stroke or not. The medical evidence showed that even if the Department sent this man to all training possible, and even attempted to educate this man at school for a period of up to two years, he would not have been able to become employable again because of his injury (regardless of the stroke).

The Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals heard all of this evidence and agreed that the stroke occurring after the injury did not disable this man.  Rather, he was already disabled from his injury at work, and the Department of L & I prematurely, and improperly, cut off his time loss and other benefits. Our client was granted full disability benefits in the form of a monthly pension to be paid the remainder of his life, and the Department was also required to pay for years of back benefits that should have been paid up to the time of the litigation.