Can You Get Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Mental Health Issues?

When we imagine the kinds of accidents that lead to a workers’ compensation case, we often think of things like slipping on a slick floor or lifting an object that was too heavy. Physical injuries are certainly the most common types of injuries addressed with work comp, but your mental health is protected by the law too.

Stress has a very severe effect on how you are able to perform your job. The American Psychology Association found that 81% of U.S. workers take a potential employer’s treatment of mental health into serious consideration when looking for a job. It’s understandable why employees would care so much. If your employer doesn’t take mental health seriously, it’s very easy for them to dismiss your pain and suffering, since mental illness and disordered thinking are often invisible.

That’s why, if you’ve received mental injuries due to your workplace, you should contact a workers’ compensation lawyer. They can help you file your claim to outline any physical and mental injuries you’ve suffered. The attorney you hire can walk you through the complicated process of gathering evidence and building your case. Understanding the basics of mental injuries and workers’ compensation can also help smooth along the process.

What Mental Injuries Fall Under Workers’ Compensation

Just like any other workers’ compensation claim, the mental malady you’ve suffered must have been caused by your work in some capacity. This limits the kinds of disorders that are covered by work comp. A few common examples of applicable disorders include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

It can seem daunting to try and prove that a mental condition was caused by your work. However, there are a couple scenarios that typically lead to receiving workers’ compensation benefits for the employee’s mental health.

Due to a Physical Injury

The lasting physical damage from a workplace injury can just as easily affect your mental state. If your psychological condition is due to a physical injury that happened on the job, you could have a strong foundation for a mental health benefits case. For example, if a fall at your workplace has left you with permanently limited mobility, and that causes a depressive episode, you could receive benefits to help with therapy or psychiatry appointments.

Due to a Traumatic Incident

Not every successful mental health work comp claim has to be related to a physical injury. Workers’ compensation law in Missouri states that employees who suffer mental injury due to “extraordinary and unusual” events at the workplace are entitled to compensation. That means that if something traumatic were to happen to you at work, you could receive aid in your treatment of that trauma. A good example would be if the cashier at a store was held at gunpoint. If that event were to lead to the employee needing psychological treatment, they could receive compensation.

It’s important to note, however, that Missouri law clearly outlines that actions taken in good faith by the employer are not subject to workers’ compensation benefits. These would be events like demotions, terminations, layoffs, or job transfers.

Build Your Workers’ Compensation Case with Chris Miller

Whether your workplace-related injury was physical, mental, or both in nature, you should seriously consider hiring on a workers’ compensation lawyer. The workers’ compensation process is far from simple or straight-forward. A work comp attorney can help you gather evidence, build your case, and communicate with any relevant third parties. You should hire a lawyer with years of experience in the field, someone who has helped thousands with their workers’ compensation claims before. Call us at the Law Office of Chris Miller to kick off your case today!