Can Workers' Comp Cover Your PTSD?

Posted on: 1 February 2016

Not all work-related injuries are visible to the eye; mental disorders brought on by work can cause a crippling inability to do your job. If you have been involved in, or even witnessed, a traumatic event in the course of your job, you may be eligible to receive benefits through your employer's workers' comp insurance coverage. Like other mental health disorders, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can be more difficult to prove. Read on to learn more about PTSD and how to get your workers' comp claim approved.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD is classified as a mental disorder by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), which means that it is considered an allowable condition for the purposes of workers' comp claims. PTSD manifests with "flashbacks", in which you re-experience a horrific event over and over again. PTSD can be accompanied by other mental health symptoms, such as sleeping and eating disorders, anxiety, depression, mood swings, uncontrolled anger and more.

PTSD and Your Work

While this disorder is often associated with soldiers returning from war, many civilian occupations can make you vulnerable for being involved in or witnessing traumatic events. For example:

  • School employees that witnessed co-workers and students being targeted by a gunman.
  • Emergency medical service personnel, firemen and policemen who witness an unusually violent or gruesome accident or crime scene.
  • An employee who is victimized by a rapist while at work or robbed in the parking garage at work.

Getting Your Claim Approved

Unfortunately, mental disorders like PTSD are easily faked, so getting compensated can be more challenging, but is possible if you ensure that you:

  1. Report your condition to your supervisor as soon as you know that you are experiencing abnormal reactions and follow up to ensure that the claim forms have been filed.
  2. Get treatment from a mental health professional (psychologist, psychiatrist, mental health therapist, etc). Continue all prescribed treatments, since skipping appointments could show a lack of severity or seriousness. You must have documented records of the way that your PTSD has affected your ability to do your job.
  3. Name witnesses, such as co-workers, family and friends, who can testify how the work-related traumatic event has impacted your life.

Professional legal help may be necessary to get the compensation that you are entitled to receive. Suffering from PTSD can mean being unable to properly cope with the complications of ensuring that your workers' compensation claim is correctly filed, so contact a workers' comp attorney as soon as possible and use your valuable time to heal from your injuries.

For more information, contact Shoap Law Offices or a similar firm.