Workers' Comp: Not Just For Physical Injuries
When it comes to workers compensation insurance, not all injuries have to physical. Mental and emotional issues could prevent a worker from working just as physical injuries can. Read on and learn more if you have been the victim of a traumatic event that was work-related.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
This form of mental trauma is often associated with soldiers returning from war but is slowing being recognized as something that might happen to almost anyone. For a mental disorder to be covered under workers compensation, it must be listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders vol. 5 (DSM-5), which is the latest iteration of the guide. The inclusion of PTSD means that your employer's workers comp insurance carrier has to recognize it as a potential bar to working at your job.
Since workers compensation insurance is only meant to cover work-related illnesses and injuries, you must be ready to show a direct connection between the condition and your job. If you have experienced a traumatic, shocking, gruesome, or troubling event at work or as a result of your job, you may begin to show some symptoms of PTSD. This disorder can seriously affect your life both on and off the job, resulting in sleep disturbances, eating disorders, anxiety, depression, and more.
How to Take Action
Being approved for benefits once you are diagnosed can be challenging. Mental issues cannot be as easily seen by running a diagnostic test, but you must seek help all the same. Take the steps below to help improve your chances of a workers comp approval.
- Begin keeping a journal detailing the negative effects of the trauma experienced.
- See a mental health specialist and let them know that your PTSD is related to your job.
- Make a list of the ways the PTSD is directly affecting your ability to work. For example, if you are not sleeping well, it may affect your thinking skills and concentration levels. If you are dealing with anxiety, it may keep you from performing certain job tasks.
- Let your supervisor at work know about your diagnosis and ask to file a workers comp claim.
- If your claim is denied, your employer is not cooperating, or you are unable to cope with the workers comp process, speak to a lawyer.
PTSD and those suffering from other job-related mental disorders will find it difficult to be approved for benefits. Let a workers compensation lawyer help you get the benefits you need.
For more information about getting compensation, talk to a workers compensation attorney.