Is it Possible to Receive Workers’ Compensation for Anxiety or Stress?
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
Many injured workers may also suffer from anxiety, stress, or depression that affect their ability to work. These conditions can be caused by the work injury itself and the circumstances surrounding its occurrence.
Approximately 20,000 Michigan workers file workers’ compensation claims each year to cover missed work time and related medical costs. However, many people wonder if they can go through the workers’ compensation system for their mental illnesses. In Michigan, you may have a valid work injury claim that qualifies for your compensation benefits if you suffered a psychological injury through traumatic events on the job.
The team of workers’ compensation lawyers at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., can help. We can work with you to maximize your workers’ compensation benefits for mental health issues resulting from physical injuries in a workplace accident while also ensuring that your rights are protected every step of the way.
What is Considered a Psychological Injury in Michigan?
To receive workers’ compensation benefits for mental disabilities, workers must show that their working conditions impacted their mental health, regardless of pre-existing conditions. It must also be tied to actual events, either a one-time incident or recurring circumstances reasonably linked to the injury.
What Qualifies as Mental Stress at Work?
Even if your job is stressful, stress alone does not justify filing a claim for a psychological injury to receive benefits covered by workers’ compensation. Several types of mental health conditions can result from past job injuries or recurring events at work, such as:
- Witnessing a traumatic construction accident
- Workplace harassment
- Working long hours consistently under pressure by a foreman
- Being targeted for disciplinary actions by supervisors repeatedly
People will react differently to the same work-related accident. Some may handle it better, while others experience significant emotional distress and anxiety, affecting their work performance. Stress and anxiety are common psychological injuries that might arise from work-related accidents or recurring incidents.
What You Need to Prove a Mental Stress Injury
Mental stress injuries are more complex to prove than physical ones. The injured party bears a burden of proof to show that their anxiety or stress resulted from their workplace to receive workers’ compensation. You must undergo a mental health examination for a formal diagnosis of your mental stress injury, such as a diagnosis of PTSD for witnessing a fatal construction accident.
You will then be compared to a standard called the reasonable person standard to determine if your perception of the accident or recurring incident was based on facts, not imagination. The contribution of work-related injuries and stressors must also be significant compared to other non-work factors in your life, such as family illnesses and death. As medical evidence, your diagnosis and examination may be used to show the insurance company that you were disabled.
What Benefits are Available for Mental Stress Injuries
Workers’ compensation insurance offers various benefits to injured employees, including for mental stress injuries. These workers’ comp benefits may include:
Loss of wages while you were recovering
You might be able to receive Social Security Disability benefits if your mental stress rendered you completely disabled.
Medical treatment for recovery from your mental stress injury
This includes counseling, therapy, and antidepressant medications prescribed by your doctor, among other medical treatments.
Contact a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer to Help You Get Compensation
It can be difficult without the help of a workers’ compensation attorney to prove a mental injury or illness to qualify for benefits. Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C. has helped clients claim all types of workers’ compensation benefits, including those involving psychological injuries such as anxiety or stress.
Contact us at 866-MICH-LAW to schedule a free consultation so you can get started on your recovery.
Can insurance companies deny your claims because of your mental health injuries?
Insurance companies may send you to an insurance company-approved doctor for an independent medical exam to ensure you have a valid claim. If the doctor determines nothing is wrong with you, the insurance company does not have to pay any workers’ compensation benefits.
If an insurance company denies you workers’ compensation benefits, contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer.
Do I have to get workers’ compensation for my mental illness from a work-related accident?
We understand that not everyone is comfortable with getting help for their mental illness. However, workers’ compensation benefits can help you recover faster and get back to work if necessary. The sooner you can receive both medical treatments and benefits, the sooner you can focus on your health.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.