Can you make a claim for work-related mental stress?
People often wonder if they can get workers’ compensation for stress at the workplace. Others want to know if they can file a claim for mental injuries like depression and anxiety. Work-related injuries such as physical injuries are generally covered under Worker’s comp. However, if a worker has suffered stress, anxiety or depression at work, or if their pre-existing condition worsened due to certain conditions at work, the worker may have a workers’ compensation claim. However, workers in certain states may not be eligible to file a workers comp claim for stress at work because laws relating to workers’ comp vary from state to state. In order to understand which claims can be filed and which ones are not compensable, it is imperative to have an understanding of the different kinds of on-the-job stress injuries.
Physical Stress Injuries
Repetitive tasks often lead to physical stress injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. This may be a result of excessive typing. Similarly, if a worker has the task of loading and unloading heavy items from the loader and stacking them in shelves at a warehouse, they may suffer from chronic back injury from all the heavy lifting. Another example is of a construction worker who may suffer nerve damage from excessive use of a jackhammer. All these conditions are exhibited as physical problems and are classified as physical stress injuries.
Repetitive stress injuries, like the ones mentioned above, are a result of repetitive physical activity on the job. These injuries make a valid worker’s compensation claim and the benefits include weekly compensation benefits, payment of medical treatment, permanent impairment benefits, and vocational rehabilitation. To find out how much compensation you are entitled to, it is advised to get in touch with a workers’ compensation injury lawyer.
Mental Stress Injuries
Unlike physical stress injuries, mental stress injuries are difficult to prove. That’s why it is harder to get compensated for emotional stress injuries and mental stress injuries. In many states, workers compensation claims do not cover for emotional and mental stress. This is mainly because it is hard to pinpoint the exact cause of emotional or mental stress as being work related, or due to other factors related to life in general.
If a specific type of injury is not covered under workers’ compensation, the claimant may be able to get compensation outside of the workers’ compensation system. The claimant may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit instead of a workers’ compensation claim and get compensated for the negligent infliction of mental and emotional distress. The personal injury claim may treat the infliction of emotional distress as intentional. However, if such a case needs to be filed, the claimant will have to prove the outlandish conduct of the defendant in some way or the other.
Possible Social Security Disability Claim
Depending on the case, you may be able to pursue a social security disability claim. This may be true in case of anxiety, and job related emotional stress. However, these kinds of claims are not very common and require the services of a highly qualified Social Security Disability Attorney.