This past June, the American Medical Association House of Delegates reclassified obesity as a disease state. This will affect the workers' compensation claims in California, as almost 30 percent of the state is considered to be clinically obese.
Workers' comp is part of a large healthcare system, and the classification of obesity as a disease is just one change that has a ripple effect through workers' compensation. While there is speculation as to how great the impact of this change will be, there will be more reported cases that claim obesity as a debilitating disease. The California Workers' Compensation Institute reports that in the past, many of these types of cases were not reported.
Under the new classification, obesity can be considered an occupational disease. This will open up more cases and the need for claimants to find workers' comp attorneys. Obesity is already a factor in some workers' comp cases, such as carpal tunnel cases and back and knee injuries. Employers' attorneys are less than thrilled with the change, predicting that obesity will be the only factor in workers' compensation claims.
The process of recovering workers' compensation benefits may be simplified with the help of a qualified lawyer. Whether someone was discriminated against because of obesity or other diseases, or if they were injured on the job, they are entitled to worker's compensation in Los Angeles, CA. A worker's compensation attorney may be able to help recover benefits without being intimidated by an employer's money-saving tactics. Attorneys may work with the insurance company and employers to protect employees' rights and ensure appropriate financial compensation for discrimination and injuries in the workplace.
Source: Insurance Journal, "Obesity Moniker to Impact California Workers’ Comp", Don Jergler, August 08, 2013