Age can play a significant role in determining the outcome of a workers’ compensation claim. As individuals age, their bodies undergo natural changes, making them more susceptible to certain injuries and medical conditions.
Here, you can learn more about how age can influence a workers’ compensation claim.
Recovery time and duration of benefits
As people get older, their bodies tend to heal slower. This extended recovery time can impact the duration of workers’ compensation benefits. An injury that may have been relatively minor for a younger worker could result in a more prolonged absence from work for an older employee. This longer recovery period can affect the length of time benefits are provided, potentially impacting financial compensation awarded.
Pre-existing medical conditions
Age often brings with it a higher likelihood of having pre-existing medical conditions. These underlying health issues can complicate a workers’ compensation claim. Insurance companies may argue that the injuries sustained are partly due to pre-existing conditions rather than solely work-related incidents. This can lead to disputes over causation, resulting in reduced benefits or denied claims. It becomes crucial for claimants to provide evidence establishing a clear link between the work-related incident and the resulting injury.
Return to work and earning potential
Age-related limitations and reduced physical capabilities may impact an individual’s ability to return to their previous job. Older workers may require retraining or placement in less physically demanding positions, which could result in lower earning potential. When assessing a workers’ compensation claim, age may influence the calculation of permanent disability benefits. Insurance companies may consider the individual’s age and projected remaining years in the workforce, potentially affecting the compensation awarded.
Age discrimination is prohibited in workers’ compensation claims. Employers and insurance companies should base their decisions on the individual’s ability to perform their job duties and the extent of their work-related injuries rather than their age. Ensuring fair compensation for work-related injuries requires a comprehensive understanding of the potential impact of age and the ability to navigate the claims process accordingly.