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Can I still receive workers’ compensation benefits if I have a pre-existing condition?

Workers’ Compensation law in New Jersey is crystal clear: an employer must take an employee as they are “with all of the pre-existing diseases and infirmity that may exist.”

So yes. You can still receive benefits if you have a pre-existing condition. You are not disqualified from filing a claim where the pre-existing condition is affected by something that happens to you on the job – including aggravating, accelerating, exacerbating the condition or when an injury on the job combines with the pre-existing condition to produce a disability for which compensation is filed.

To satisfy the “arising out of” criteria, there must be a contributing cause of the injury and the risk of occurrence was reasonably, and directly related to the employment.

In other words, the pre-existing condition cannot be the only cause of the injury for which the workers’ compensation is sought.