Psychiatric Injury And Workers' Compensation Benefits

Posted on: 25 August 2019

Workers' compensation funds are designed to protect employees against financial ruin in the event of a work-related injury. Most people think about workers' compensation in terms of physical injuries, but the potential for work-related activities to cause psychiatric injuries is also present.

Proving a psychiatric injury can be a bit more challenging, but you can work with an experienced attorney to help show that your mental health problems stem from work-related activities.


One of the leading elements in any workers' compensation case involving a psychiatric injury is stress. Stress is part of almost every job, but this stress should not be compounded or prolonged by the actions of your employer.

Exposure to chronic stress can lead to problems like anxiety, sleep disorders, and depression. These conditions can have a debilitating effect on a person's life. Talk with your attorney if you feel that work-related stress has caused your mental health issues.

Official Diagnosis

In order to be eligible for compensation through a stress-induced workers' compensation claim, you must receive a formal diagnosis from a mental health professional. The courts will only recognize conditions that are listed in the most current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health (DSM).

The DSM is the standard by which mental health professionals evaluate their clients, so a condition that is listed in the DSM will be recognized as a genuine injury.

Case Types

Once you and your attorney have determined that your experiences at work caused significant stress and subsequent mental health issues, you will need to decide which type of workers' compensation case to pursue. You have a couple of options available to you, including a mental-mental case and a mental-physical case.

A mental-mental claim is reserved for injuries that don't have a physical component. Some examples of stress-inducing behavior that might justify a mental-mental claim are threats of physical or sexual abuse, witnessing a violent episode, or being the victim of a crime caused by your employer's negligence.

Mental-physical claims are those cases where stress has had a direct effect on physical wellness. If you are suffering from insomnia, depression, panic attacks, or other physical ailments brought on by the mental stress you feel at work, you may qualify for assistance after filing a mental-physical workers' compensation claim.

Don't make the mistake of believing that only physical injuries justify the filing of a workers' compensation claim. Chronic and unwarranted stress can lead to psychiatric injuries that can be every bit as debilitating as physical injuries. To learn more, contact a company like Bennett  Law Firm PC