What are my rights to workers: comp for a pre-existing injury?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What are my rights to workers: comp for a pre-existing injury?

I got hurt about 2 years ago on the job. I had a lower back herniation for which I had surgery that helped. I was offered a desk job with the same company but it was horrible. I stuck with it as long as I could. Workmers’ comp paid after I left but then stopped payment because I refused work. I had to find a job, so I went back to work as a CNA. I have been working for 7 months now and my back just gave out. Can I still qualify for workers’ comp?

Asked on July 26, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Maine


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Worker's compensation is for an injury caused by the *current* job, not for a pre-existing injury or condition. Given that the herniation occured around one year and give months prior to you even taking the current position, and more like 2 years before your back "gave out" now, it is highly unlikely that you would qualify for worker's compensation. You can certainly apply for it, however; as long as you honest and truthful in all the information your report (i.e. don't lie or "shade" the truth, which would be a form of fraud), the worst that might happen is being turned down for it.

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