Are you losing wages from missed work? If your absenteeism can be attributed to work-related injuries or illnesses, you may be due compensation. Yet many U.S. men and women do not collect benefits owed to them. Employees may reason that injuries and ailments fall under assumed risks or contributory negligence. In other words, a staggering number of workers assume that injuries are partially — or wholly – – their own fault. That line of thinking, however, may cost you wages and your primary source of income. Workers compensation policies are broadening to cover some surprising conditions. Here are some lesser known things you can receive compensation for: Secondhand Smoke Getting hurt at work is not the only way to collect workers’ compensation. Business Insider reports that smokers receive more workers’ compensation than their non-smoking counterparts. Smokers at a single company receive an average of $2,189 annually versus non-smokers $176. (It is important to note that smoking increases the likelihood of contracting occupational illnesses. Workers are not rewarded for smoking.) Many Americans may not realize, however, that their non-smoking coworkers may receive more direct compensation for their smoking habit. “Non-smoking employees can receive workers’ compensation, unemployment compensation, disability benefits, and other settlements due to secondhand smoke,” Business Insider explains.

Mental and Psychological Trauma

Employers are beginning to broaden definitions of getting hurt on the job. In fact, a growing number of companies are paying workers’ compensation benefits for mental conditions, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), grief, and depression. The Wall Street Journal, for example, reveals that employers pay approximately $75 billion for grief-related expenses, including paid time off and workers’ compensation. Talk to workers compensation attorneys if you are suffering from work-related PTSD, grief, or stress and believe that you may be eligible for financial retribution. Workers’ compensation is not a static term. Companies are broadening policies to include surprising physical and mental ills, such as conditions related to secondhand smoke, PTSD, grief, and trauma. Team up with workers compensation attorneys to protect your rights as an employee.

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