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Is Mental Stress Covered Under Workers’ Compensation?

Our Pottstown Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC Represent Clients With Mental Stress Claims

Workers’ compensation is designed to safeguard employees who suffer injuries or illnesses while performing their job duties. While physical injuries often take precedence in discussions about workers’ compensation, mental stress can also be a significant issue in workplaces. Will workers’ compensation cover it?

Mental health issues affect one in five adults annually, with significant impacts in the workplace. Many workers experience stress, leading to absenteeism and decreased performance. Prioritizing mental health support is vital for employee well-being and productivity.

Mental stress can be considered a work-related injury under specific circumstances. Unlike physical injuries, which are more tangible, mental stress can stem from work-related situations like harassment, discrimination, traumatic events, or excessive workload.

Not all cases of mental stress are automatically covered under workers’ compensation. For mental stress to be compensable, it typically must meet specific criteria. Those may vary depending on the state where the claim is filed, but generally include:

  • Specific cause: The mental stress must be caused by a specific work-related incident or series of incidents.
  • Severity: The mental stress must be severe enough to result in a diagnosable condition, such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Medical evidence: Medical evidence, like a psychiatrist or psychologist’s documentation, must support mental stress.

How Can I Prove Work-Related Mental Stress?

Proving mental stress can be more challenging than proving physical injuries due to its subjective nature. However, there are steps employees can take to support their claims:

  • Medical attention: Seeking medical evaluation and treatment from a qualified healthcare provider is essential. A doctor’s diagnosis and treatment plan can provide documentation for the claim.
  • Documentation: Keep detailed records of incidents or situations that caused or contributed to mental stress.
  • Following procedures: We recommend following your employer’s procedures for reporting workplace injuries or incidents promptly. That can ensure the incident is properly documented and investigated.
  • Legal guidance: Consulting with an experienced attorney can provide invaluable advice and support.

What Compensation Can I Get for Mental Stress?

The employee may be eligible for various benefits if a mental stress claim is approved. These benefits can include medical coverage for necessary treatments related to mental stress, such as therapy, medication, or hospitalization. Additionally, income benefits may be provided to compensate for lost wages due to mental stress. These benefits are typically calculated as a percentage of the employee’s average weekly wage.

Vocational rehabilitation services may also be offered to assist the employee in job training or placement if the mental stress affects their ability to return to their previous job. This aspect of workers’ compensation aims to help individuals transition back into the workforce and regain stability.

Finally, permanent disability benefits may be available to compensate for any lasting impairment resulting from the mental stress, providing ongoing support for the affected individual’s needs.

Our Pottstown Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC Represent Clients With Mental Stress Claims

If you are struggling with a mental stress-related workers’ compensation claim, contact our skilled Pottstown workers’ compensation lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC. Our experienced attorneys are here to provide compassionate support and legal guidance to help you through this challenging time. Submit our online form or call 610-594-1600 for a free consultation. Located in Exton, Pennsylvania, we serve clients in Downingtown, West Chester, Coatesville, Phoenixville, Malvern, Lyndell, Wagontown, Uwchlan Township, Parkesburg, Chester Springs, Lancaster County, Reading, and Morgantown.