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Definition of Pre Existing Condition

A pre-existing condition, as it applies to workers compensation, is any medical condition, whether it is an injury or an illness, that a worker has before sustaining a work-related injury. A pre-existing condition does not mean that a workers' compensation claim will be denied. In fact, a pre-existing condition may be allowed as part of the workers' compensation claim if it is aggravated by a workers job duties. For example, a worker has a pre-existing back problem that is aggravated by having to lift heavy boxes. If the worker did not have to lift heavy boxes, it is possible that the injury may not have happened.

Not all injuries that involve a pre-existing condition are covered by workers' compensation. If an event causes the appearance of a pre-existing condition and does not involve definite breakage, the event probably will not be covered by workers' compensation and no benefits will be paid. However, if a worker's treating doctor says that a work-related event aggravated, precipitated and/or accelerated a pre-existing condition beyond normal progression, the event will probably be covered by workers' compensation and benefits will be paid to the worker.

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