Can I Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Stress and Anxiety?November 6, 2020
It is possible to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits for stress and anxiety. The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act covers both workplace mental injuries and physical injuries. However, claims for work-related stress and anxiety can be more difficult to prove than ones involving physical workplace injuries.
Types of Psychological Work Injuries in Pennsylvania
Only certain types of psychological work injuries are compensable. The psychological injury must be work-related, and it can be difficult to establish the nexus between the psychological injury and the employee’s workplace. A lawyer can help with this connection.
The different types of claims for psychological work injuries include:
Physical-Mental Disability Claim: For this type of claim, a worker is only required to show that their work-related physical injury caused their psychological injury.
Mental-Physical Disability Claim: A claimant must show that the psychological stimulus was work-related and that it caused their physical injury.
Mental Disability Claim: Pennsylvania is one of few states that recognizes this type of claim. To receive Workers’ Compensation benefits for a mental disability claim, a worker must show that either a single event or a stressful working environment resulted in their mental condition.
Types of Stress and Anxiety-Related Mental Disorders
Stress impacts physical and mental health. It can also cause a number of mental health issues. Some types of stress and anxiety-related mental disorders that may be compensable include:
While some levels of stress and anxiety are to be expected as a normal part of life, sometimes it can interfere with an individual’s ability to function. There are several types of anxiety disorders that an individual may be diagnosed with, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and phobias that trigger panic attacks.
Depression is a common mood disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH). To be diagnosed with depression, an individual must have persistent symptoms for at least two weeks, including:
- Loss of interest in hobbies
- Difficulty concentrating
- Suicide attempts
- Random physical aches and pains
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
According to the NIH, those who experience a shocking or dangerous event may develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). To be diagnosed with PTSD, an individual must experience certain symptoms for at least a month, which are separated into four categories:
- Re-Experiencing: These symptoms include flashbacks, thoughts, and dreams in which the individual relives the trauma.
- Avoidance: Those displaying avoidance symptoms will stay away from places, objects, or people that remind them of the trauma.
- Arousal and Reactivity: Someone with arousal and reactivity symptoms is constantly on edge, easily startled, plagued by insomnia, or prone to emotional outbursts.
- Cognition and Mood: Those with PTSD may have trouble remembering the traumatic event, have negative feelings about themselves or the rest of society, and feel guilty.
What Benefits are Available in Mental Health Claims?
Pennsylvania workers who successfully prove that they have either a physical-mental, mental-physical, or mental disability claim may be eligible for various types of benefits. The types of benefits include:
- Medical benefits
- Wage loss benefits
- Specific loss awards
- Death benefits
It is important to seek assistance from a qualified lawyer as soon as possible after a workplace accident in order to receive benefits.
Media Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello Advocate for Employees with Mental Injuries
If you developed a work-related mental illness, contact one of our Media Workers’ Compensation lawyers at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello. We understand what it takes to build a successful case for work-related psychological injuries. Call us at 610-892-4940 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Media, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Lancaster, Montgomery County, Norristown, Philadelphia, Reading, and West Chester.