In Wisconsin if laid off with a back injury you can get workers compensation under some circumstances. Here is a common scenario. It can be a man or woman, but in this case let's call our worker Jack. Jack has worked in the trades for years and gained a lot of experience and knowledge of how to get things done the right way. Unfortunately, as a by-product of those years on the job, Jack also acquired a bad back. Jack self-treats for awhile, getting up early to slam some Advil but always going in. His spouse has lived with Jack's back injury for years too and she finally gets him to see a doctor. Jack may get some physical therapy, meds or even injections, but he doesn't put the bills on workers comp or make a claim. Even though Jack and his wife know damn well the back didn't start to hurt on its own or while Jack watched football on Sundays. Time goes by, Jack gets older and guys on the job notice he can't do everything he used to in a physical sense. But that's ok because his experience makes things work easier and better for everyone, something the bosses know and appreciate as well. At some point its clear that Jack is more of a foreman or superintendent on site, but he doesn't have the title or pay. But that's fine, there's a lot of work and its good to have a guy like Jack around, especially when times are busy.
Got a call from someone laid off with a back injury wanting to know if they had any workers compensation options. He was a construction worker in his fifties who had been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease including bulging discs and a possible herniated disc in his lumbar spine. He had low back pain, with occasional shooting pain down his right leg, doctors call this radiating pain or radiculopathy. He had done some physical therapy years ago and even had some work restrictions. But he continued to work, basically watching himself and his employer generally accommodated him when he had formal restrictions and even after they ran out. Reason being he was an experienced laborer foreman. He had the kind of experience you can't teach. Work was plentiful and it paid to have an extra man on site even if he couldn't do a lot physically.