PTSD And How You Can Be Covered For Workers' Comp

Posted on: 11 November 2015

Workers' compensation insurance was created to cover medical expenses and lost wages for those who are injured while at work. Many people may be unaware, however, that workers' comp also covers psychological injuries. If you have been in involved in , or witnessed, a psychologically stressful event at work, you should know that your ability to do your job could be greatly impacted by PTSD, and sometimes you are not able to go to work at all. Read on to learn more about the challenges of proving that you have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and how to successfully get your claim approved.

What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) classifies PTSD as a mental disorder. The inclusion of PTSD in the DSM-5 means that it is an allowed mental disorder for workers' compensation coverage.

Symptoms of PTSD can include "flashbacks" where you revisit the horrific or unusually terrifying event again and again. Other related symptoms include eating and sleeping disorders, depression, anxiety and many others.

How does PTSD Affect Your Ability to Work?

If the traumatic event that caused your PTSD occurred either at work, or in connection with your work, you may qualify for compensation. Many people have only connected PTSD to soldiers returning from war, but in fact PTSD can affect anyone who has a stressful job or who witnesses traumatic events. Civilian job situations where PTSD could occur include:

  • Teachers or other employees at a school that was targeted by a shooter.
  • First responders (emergency medical services, firemen, policemen) who witness an especially gruesome scene.
  • Any employee in almost any job can experience PTSD as a result of being attacked, assaulted, raped, robbed or other horrific events.

Proving PTSD for Workers' Comp

Because PTSD is a mental disorder and easily faked, proving it for a workers' comp claim can be more difficult, but not impossible if you take the following steps:

  1. Report your condition to your supervisor and ensure a report is filed.
  2. Seek, participate and stay in treatment with a licensed mental health professional, such as a social worker, mental health therapist, psychiatrist or psychologist. The records of your disorder and how it affects your ability to do your job is key component to prove your claim.
  3. Provide witnesses (co-workers, friends, family) who can attest to the effect the work-related incident has had on your work life.

To get compensated from workers' comp for a mental disorder like PTSD, you will very likely require the services of a workers' comp attorney (like those at Law Offices Jonathan Teperson) to assist you. With proper guidance, you will be able to get the compensation you deserve so that you can move forward and get better.