Most people connect workers’ compensation with physical injuries. However, psychological conditions can also qualify you for workers’ compensation. Your mental health has a direct impact on your physical well-being and ability to work.
To get workers’ compensation, work-related factors must contribute to your mental well-being.
Some professions expose workers to hazards that may trigger PTSD. For example, military servicemembers often develop PTSD after combat. Other professions include:
- First responders
- Healthcare professionals
Accidents caused by employer negligence can also result in psychological distress.
Cumulative trauma and stress
Nearly three out of five Americans report work-related stress. Workplaces with high-pressure environments, prolonged exposure to stressors and unrealistic expectations can cause long-term psychological distress. Over time, the stress manifests as PTSD and can impact the person’s ability to work. Employees may experience panic attacks or depressive episodes that make it difficult to complete their tasks or to show up for work.
Inadequate workplace support
Inadequate trauma management strategies and support systems can exacerbate the impact of traumatic incidents. Your employer should focus on the mental health of you and your colleagues and put in place debriefing sessions, counseling services and other mental health resources. Following an incident, employers should provide mental health services to all affected staff.
To receive workers’ compensation due to PTSD, you must establish a clear connection between your work experiences and the subsequent psychological impact. Assessing the nature of the job, your work environment and the psychological impact on your daily life can help you navigate the workers’ compensation system.