The inability to work puts you at risk of so many struggles, possibly putting you in a financial predicament. When your inability to work is caused by your occupation, there is even more frustration surrounding the subject. However, when you suffer a physical injury, it is evident that you will require compensation to get through this difficult time until you are back on your feet, making it a little bit easier to prove your injuries and file a claim.
On the other hand, things can be a little bit more complicated when it comes to work-related stress and mental health issues. Can mental stress be covered under worker’s compensation as well? Read on to find out.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Worker’s compensation covers illnesses or injuries caused by a work environment. The definition of worker’s compensation and the factors that make an employee eligible may vary depending on the state in which you reside.
Generally, this means that if you suffer a workplace injury, through no fault of your own, you are eligible by law to file a claim against your employer for their negligence pertaining to the work environment such as faulty equipment.
With a thorough assessment and physical exam, a medical provider will be able to confirm the extent of the injuries and provide details of your condition and how it is work-related in order to help you, along with a personal injury attorney, to receive benefits.
On the other hand, when filing for worker’s compensation for a mental injury rather than a physical one, things can get tricky. Since mental health issues are harder to prove with no physical evidence, it can be easy for an employer to deny your claims. That said, some mental health issues are covered under worker’s compensation, so you must know your rights.
Mental Health Protection
In the US, mental health issues are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It’s important to know your rights when it comes to mental health protection to ensure you receive sufficient compensation should you suffer a mental health injury due to your occupation.
These rights ensure that you cannot be fired from your job based on your mental health conditions. You are protected from being subject to harassment and discrimination based on your mental health issues; moreover, you should receive reasonable accommodation to assist your mental health issues.
It’s important to note that you do have the right to remain private regarding your mental health matters; however, if your mental health condition can negatively impact your ability to work, your employer could require an independent medical examination to determine whether or not you are mentally capable of returning to your job.
Proving That Mental Health Issues Are Work-Related
To qualify for worker’s compensation due to mental health issues, you must first confirm that they are the result of your stressful and strenuous work environment. Additionally, you’ll want to be certain that your mental health conditions are covered under worker’s comp in your state. This will ensure your employer cannot avert your claims based on your lack of knowledge regarding the state’s law.
Proving that your stress and anxiety are indeed caused by your work environment might require some legal advice. As such, the Georgia-based personal injury lawyers at AdamsonCleveland.com suggest that you should consult with a specialized attorney to receive personalized advice and come up with smart strategies to receive an adequate amount of compensation.
A personal injury attorney will provide you with the steps necessary to take to support your claims, such as making medical appointments to procure evidence of your mental health struggles.
Eligibility for Worker’s Compensation Benefits
To prove that you are eligible for worker’s compensation benefits and to prove that your suffering is caused by your work environment, you must also prove that the results of your stress and anxiety, or PTSD have interfered with your ability to work. Furthermore, you must keep in mind that the severity of your work-related mental issues will be taken into account to decipher whether or not you are eligible for worker’s comp.
The issue with this is that although stress and anxiety can be emotionally and physically draining, it rarely appears severe enough to prevent you from doing your work. As such, the most common way to back your claim is to consult your mental health care provider for proof.
Luckily, there’s an increased public awareness and understanding of mental health issues and how impactful they are, which is why they are taken very seriously in this day and age. But, claiming that your stress and anxiety are caused by your work environment may not be well received by your employer, not to mention that it can be hard to prove. In any case, always consult with your mental health care provider and a specialized attorney if you suffer from a work-related mental health issue.