Almost everyone experiences work-related stress at some point during their career. It’s almost impossible to avoid, as productivity goals become more ambitious, workdays get longer, and companies strive to get more out of each employee. However, chronic stress can have a serious impact on your health. If stress has become part of your daily work routine, you may wonder if workers’ compensation is an option for you.
Why It’s Hard to Prove Damage from Work-Related Stress
Since work stress is so widespread, it is difficult to prove that it’s serious enough to qualify for workers’ compensation. It’s difficult to quantify stress or measure its effects on the body. As a result, workers in Florida cannot file for workers’ compensation for stress or work-related anxiety.
What It Takes to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim for Stress
There is one major exception to this. If your workplace stress causes a physical injury or a workplace injury causes stress, workers’ compensation is an option you can pursue. Stress can cause a range of physical injuries and conditions, including high blood pressure, migraine headaches, and heart attacks.
You must meet a substantial list of requirements to file workers’ compensation for your stress-related injury. Workers’ compensation can only be used for compensable injuries. Compensation is only available for injuries that require medical treatment. Additionally, you must demonstrate that your physical injury is the primary cause of your stress.
Proving the Damage of a Stress-Related Injury
Proving a link between stress and a physical injury can be an uphill battle, and you’ll likely need substantial documentation and medical testimony to have a successful workers’ compensation case. The stress you suffer must be responsible for at least half of your stress. To file, you must have both a prognosis and a diagnosis from a psychiatrist that utilizes criteria set forth by the American Psychiatric Association.
Additionally, workers’ compensation laws set strict limits on how long you can get benefits and what type of medical treatment is covered. It only covers treatment provided for a specific compensable injury. If you suffer additional stress due to being out of work, pain, or another mental health condition that existed before your injury, workers’ compensation will not cover treatment related to these issues. If your workers’ compensation claim is successful, you can only receive stress-related benefits for a maximum of six months after your physical injury improves.
Strengthening Your Workers’ Compensation Case
Workers’ compensation is a complex area of law, and companies have a significant amount of resources that allow them to deny claims if there isn’t substantial proof. Working with a workers’ compensation attorney can help you improve your chances of a successful workers’ compensation claim.
Don’t Let Work-Related Stress Ruin Your Life
If workplace stress has led to physical injury or illness, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation. Turn to an attorney who knows what it takes to make your claim successful. Schedule a consultation at the West Palm Beach office of Scott J. Sternberg & Associates by calling 561-687-5660.