Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Workers' Comp

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Workers' Comp

While workers' compensation usually provides financial benefits to workers who suffer bodily injuries like broken bones or torn ligaments, a worker may wonder if they can get workers' compensation benefits for a work-related mental health disorder like PTSD. Keep reading to discover your options for seeking mental health benefits from workers' compensation in Orlando.

What Is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

PTSD is a mental health condition resulting from seeing or being involved in a traumatic event, like an assault, a natural disaster, or a severe accident. PTSD can initiate many emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and biological symptoms that hamper a person's ability to operate.

When does Workers' Compensation cover PTSD?

For workers' comp to cover PTSD, an employee who thinks they have PTSD must have a psychologist or psychiatrist formally diagnose their disorder according to the standards for PTSD in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

PTSD might be covered as a mental injury, where the concerned employee did not encounter physical damage but instead saw the triggering traumatic circumstance. In addition, it may also be covered as a cognitive injury resulting from bodily harm experienced at work.

Common Workplace PTSD Claims

Claims of experiencing PTSD at work generally happen in industries and professions where employees often encounter traumatic incidents. Law enforcement officials, firefighters, EMTs, and hospital employees are especially susceptible to acquiring PTSD.

PTSD claims can also emerge when workers see a coworker suffer a severe or gruesome injury or demise. Examples of industries where such destructive accidents happen include construction, manufacturing, warehousing, and fishing. Nevertheless, PTSD can occur in nearly any line of work.

Common Signs of PTSD

PTSD can cause a person to encounter symptoms such as:

  • Flashbacks of the traumatic event, with recollections of the event recurring to the point of being invasive of their daily life.
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Rage and crankiness
  • Being jumpy or easily startled
  • Emotional detachment
  • Violent or self-destructive conduct
  • Memory or attention issues
  • Obsessive-compulsive behavior
  • Nightmares

Severe signs of PTSD can damage an individual's personal, social, and work life.

Workers' Compensation Benefits for PTSD

Workers' compensation can furnish a worker with benefits to help them treat and heal from PTSD. These benefits might include:

  • Treatment costs, including mental health treatment or prescriptions for antidepressants or antianxiety drugs.
  • Temporary disability benefits, if a worker must take time off from work to process and recuperate from a traumatic event in the workplace.
  • Permanent disability benefits, if signs of PTSD are so extreme as to ultimately damage an employee's capacity to function in the workplace.

How a Workers' Compensation Attorney Can Help

If you have PTSD because of your job, a workers' compensation attorney can help by:

  • Examining evidence to create a case to demonstrate that a traumatic event at work compelled your PTSD.
  • Guaranteeing you obtain the medical treatment required, including cooperating with your treating providers once they have diagnosed you with PTSD.
  • Assisting you in filing your workers' compensation claim with your employer.
  • Helping you pursue an appeal or a legal claim if your employer or its insurer rejects your claim for benefits for PTSD.

We hope this helps you understand PTSD claims with workers' compensation in Orlando. Contact us today for more information.

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