Chronic illness or ailment as a result of work or employment is referred to as occupational disease.  Occupational disease can be caused by a variety of factors.  Physical illness can be caused by unsanitary working conditions or by inherent risks of the job.  Psychological illness can be caused by job stresses and negative work environments.
Certain occupations carry a higher risk for injury on the job and most people are easily aware that these types of job related injuries would qualify for workers compensation.  The health conditions that can develop from the type of work that someone is involved in can be considered a job related injury that can be covered under workers compensation as well.  Many people are unaware of this.
What Makes Something an Occupational Disease?
Determining if something is an occupational disease is done by measuring if a condition is more prevalent in a general group of workers then it is in the general population.  Skin diseases, such as eczema, are one of the most common occupational diseases, often seen in groups who work with chemicals or have to wash their hands frequently.  Lung disease is often found in those who work in asbestos removal, or firefighters exposed to smoke, as an example.
Filing a Workers Compensation Claim for Occupational Disease
Many doctors are not aware of all forms of occupational diseases and sometimes occupational disease is not as obvious as a physical injury.  Therefore it can be a bit more difficult to make a workers compensation claim for occupational disease.  It is advisable to seek the assistance of an attorney when filing any type of workers compensation claim.