When Does Mental Illness Qualify for Workers’ Compensation?

Mental IllnessSimply put, mental illness almost always qualifies for workers’ compensation; it’s proving you developed a mental illness as a result of some element of your job that’s difficult.

There are two instances in which you need to prove your mental health condition is related to your job. These are when you’re suffering from a mental health condition 1) solely related to your job, and 2) related to your or another person’s work-related injury.

1. You’re Suffering From a Mental Illness

As mentioned above, it’s difficult to prove you’ve developed a mental health condition related to your job.

Because it’s so difficult, it’s extremely important to talk with a workers’ compensation attorney as soon as you suspect your mental health condition is a product of some element of your job. He or she will be able to advise you on whether you should:

  • Make an appointment with a doctor as soon as possible.
  • Seek a treatment from an actual mental health professional. Too often, people see family practitioners for mental health conditions such as depression, panic, and anxiety.
  • Gather documentation to prove all doctor appointments and prescriptions, including payments or co-payments.
  • Request a doctor’s report on your condition.
  • Summon your physician to testify in workers’ compensation court.

These are just a few of the steps a workers’ compensation attorney might advise you on, of course; all procedures vary depending on your specific situation.

2. You Suffered an Injury That Led to Mental Illness

Again, proving that some element of your job led to mental health problems such as depression and severe stress is extremely difficult; however, the task becomes easier when you have a physical work-related injury to which you can tie it.

For example, you could suffer a heart attack, stroke, or broken leg on the job. Because it’s common for any of these injuries to leave you incapacitated for a while, it’s also common for them to lead to certain mental health conditions, such as depression.

If you can prove your physical work-related injury led to a mental health problem, you can obtain workers’ compensation for that mental health problem, too.

Going further, you could suffer a mental illness related to a co-worker’s work-related injury. For example, if you see a co-worker become injured it could lead you to experience disorders such as panic and anxiety.

You could even feel so sad about the situation that it leads to depression. Cases like these aren’t as easy to prove as if you were the one who experienced the injury, but they are easier to prove than if there were no injury at all.

It’s Time to Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Unlike physical injuries, you can’t actually see a mental health problem. Sure, you can see the symptoms, but proving the illness or condition is there is a whole other story.

That’s why it’s so important to contact an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation laws, such as those of us at Scott J. Sternberg & Associates. Serving the West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, and Orlando areas, the law offices of Scott J. Sternberg & Associates employ highly skilled attorneys experienced in a variety of areas related to workers’ compensation, from identifying the injuries and pain associated with a workers’ compensation case to fighting for you to get every benefit to which you’re entitled.

Give us a call at (561)-687-5660 to schedule your free consultation today.

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