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Chemical hazards at work and qualifying SSD benefits for illness

In the wake of years of litigation regarding the exposure of millions of people to asbestos in their workplaces, many employers are putting a premium on protecting their workers and enhancing safety protocols. But, that doesn't mean that exposure to chemical hazards in the workplace is a problem that has been solved.

In fact, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration takes this continuing threat very seriously. Whenever OSHA investigates a claim that there is a potentially harmful exposure in a workplace, they will take samples to test the possible exposure to contaminants. Many times tests will be taken in the exact area where there is a potential problem, as well as throughout other parts of the workplace. If the test results reveal a serious problem, the employer is almost assured to receive citations and fines, as well as an order to fix the problem.

Exposure to harmful chemicals in the workplace can make an employee sick, forcing that person to miss time at work. In many cases the worker can take the time off to recover, all the while receiving workers compensation to make up for lost wages. But, what if the work-related illness leads to a more permanent disease, as was the case for millions of people when they were exposed to asbestos?

For Los Angeles residents who find themselves in this position, Social Security Disability benefits for illness may be available. These benefits can help a person who is dealing with a disability. A worker with an illness can apply for SSD benefits if the disability is long-term - or permanent.

Source: osha.gov, "Chemical Exposure Health Data," accessed on Dec. 26, 2014

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