Everyone knows about the way that workers' comp insurance covers work-related accidents and illnesses. This valuable resource pays all medical bills and allows the injured worker time to recuperate at home. Not all work-related injuries are just physical, however. Mental and emotional damage can be caused by work. You are also entitled to get workers' compensation for trauma-related mental damage, known as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While it can be more challenging to prove, read on to learn more about work-related PTSD and for information on getting your claim approved:
When a horrific event is experienced or witnessed, the effects can cause some people to suffer months or even years after the event is over. The trauma is relived over and over again as if you were seeing it for the first time. In some cases, victims of PTSD experience flashbacks of the traumatic event. PTSD can impact victims by causing anxiety, depression, sleeping and eating disorders, mood disorders and more. The manual of mental disorders, the DSM-5, has officially recognized PTSD, meaning that you may be compensated through workers' comp if you are suffering from work-related PTSD.
Workers' Comp Coverage
If approved, you can expect that your workers' comp insurance provided by your employer will pay for all medical and mental health needs as a result of the illness. This amounts to mental health therapy, evaluations for psychiatric medications and the medications themselves, any diagnostic testing needed and more. Additionally, you may be entitled to stay home for a period of time and (hopefully) get better.
PTSD is better-known for affecting those returning from war, but almost anyone can experience or witness traumatic events in their workday. For example:
- As an emergency medical technician, you respond to a particularly gruesome accident scene that continues to haunt you.
- As an office worker, you are attacked and raped in the company-owned parking structure after work.
- As a retail worker, you witness a coworker being shot in the store by a fired and unstable former employee.
Getting your claim approved
Since these types of claims can be more difficult to prove, seek help from a professional mental health provider as soon as possible. This can be anyone that has state-approved credentials, from licensed mental health counselors to psychologists. It's important that you stay in treatment and follow all therapeutic guidelines, and that you keep good records of such care. Let your supervisor know about your condition right away; you cannot get coverage until a claim is filed and approved.
If you are having problems getting your workers' comp claims approved, speak to a workers' compensation attorney for more help and support.