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Are Stress and Anxiety Covered under Workers’ Compensation?

stress and anxiety

Businesses with at least one employee are required to participate in Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Compensation system. Often, when a person thinks of Workers’ Compensation, they may immediately think of a physical injury on the job that caused the employee to be unable to work. Most people know that to collect Workers’ Compensation payments, the worker must be injured while on the job or in the course of work.

More complex questions arise when the employee suffers from a mental injury because of working on the job. Although it is possible to recover Workers’ Compensation as a result of a mental injury, making that claim can be more complicated than physical injuries. For stress to be considered a workplace injury and recoverable under Workers’ Compensation in Pennsylvania, workers will have to show an abnormal working condition existed. Knowing how to show that specific circumstance can require some legal expertise. An employee’s stress may manifest as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, or sleeping difficulties. A medical professional is needed to assist the worker in determining the origination of the mental distress and what situations are exacerbating the stress or anxiety.

Some common situations that can cause or trigger workplace mental injuries are as follows:

  • Working in a customer service position. Interfacing often with the public can bring rewards from those interactions in which an employee is able to assist, but it can also prove to be very challenging, especially if the nature of the work is challenging in itself. Depending on the nature of the work, the coronavirus pandemic could have also increased the stress level associated with customer interactions. For example, this is evident in the airline industry, where the number of passengers has recently increased but many airlines do not have the capacity to accommodate them because of retired airplanes that are not yet ready to be back in service. This is causing multiple delays and cancellations in airports and therefore difficult interactions among staff and passengers.
  • Workload increases. Various situations can lead to employee burnout when they are required to take on additional responsibilities with the same or less pay. This can happen when many employees resign or are laid off because of economic hardship in the company. When this happens all at once, the employees who are left may be doing the jobs of two and three people. Many employees can handle a temporary uptick in work, but if the situation becomes permanent, it may ultimately become unmanageable for an employee. This is also now becoming a common situation in many workplaces as a result of the pandemic, where businesses may not be able to hire more employees because of economic reasons.

Other causes can be related to workplace bullying, working the third shift, or being employed in an unstable position where workers are unsure if their jobs will be there from day to day.

Exton Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC can Help if You Suffer from a Mental Injury as a Result of Conditions at Work

Although proving a mental injury associated with work can be more difficult, it can be possible with the right legal guidance and medical treatment. If you believe you have suffered from a mental injury, including stress and anxiety as a result of circumstances at work, the Exton Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC can help determine if you can collect Workers’ Compensation. Contact us online or call us at 610-594-1600 for a free consultation today. We are located in Exton, Pennsylvania, where we serve clients throughout Downingtown, West Chester, Exton, Coatesville, Phoenixville, Malvern, Lyndell, Wagontown, Uwchlan Township, Parkesburg, Chester Springs, Lancaster County, Reading, and Morgantown.