You cannot get workers’ compensation for a pre-existing condition per se. In other words, if you get injured at home, you cannot then come into work and claim that you need worker’s compensation because you cannot do your job.
But what if you had a pre-existing condition or an injury, and then something happened at work that made it worse? Say you injured your back lifting something at home. It hurt, but you felt like you could still function. Then you had to lift something again at work, and the pain got considerably worse. If you need serious medical treatment and can’t work for a while, can you get workers’ comp coverage for that back injury? Or is it going to be denied because you originally hurt yourself at home?
You can get compensation when your work incident aggravates an injury
It is possible to get compensation if you do something at work that aggravates an injury you already had because you’re still making your condition different and making it harder — or impossible — to work because of what happened on the job.
When you can’t seek coverage is when the entire injury happened away from work. Your job had nothing to do with it. But many people have nagging injuries from doing jobs around the house, playing sports or engaging in other recreational activities. If something like this is accelerated or amplified by your job, you may still be able to seek compensation.
That said, this could get more complicated, especially if your employer tries to claim you don’t deserve coverage. Make sure you know all about the legal options at your disposal.