Can Mental Illness Qualify Someone for Workers' Comp?

25 January 2019
 Categories: Law, Blog


Some people become very stressed and anxious when they work high-stress jobs. When you are in an environment where you are constantly exposed to a toxic and stressful environment, you can suffer physical and psychological damages. If you feel your workplace or your management is causing you mental or emotional distress, you may be able to receive workers' compensation benefits. The following are some things you should know:

How Does Workers' Compensation Apply to Workplace Stress?

When you suffer debilitating stress due to your work environment, you may be suffering from mental illness. Mental illness is considered a workplace injury when it occurs during the scope of your employment. Although most consider all workers' compensation claims consist of a physical injury, mental injuries also qualify. Mental illness can result in your inability to properly do your job.

Do States Allow Workers' Compensation for Mental Illness?

Most states do allow workers' comp benefits for mental illness. For instance, if you work in a manufacturing plant and you witness a traumatic accident but you were not physically injured, your involvement in the aftermath and anything you saw in the course of the accident can lead to mental illness. You have to provide proof your illness is a result of workplace stress. You cannot receive workers' compensation benefits from stress that was a result of termination from your job or from a reprimand.

What Other Types of Compensation Can You Receive?

If your workers' compensation claim does not come through for your mental illness due to your job, you may have some additional options. Upon eligibility, Medicare or Medicaid is available to help pay for some of your medical expenses. You also have the option to file for unemployment benefits if you lose your job due to your mental illness.

If you are a victim of egregious behavior from your boss, you have to show how the behavior impacted your mental health to the point you are no longer able to do your job. Some behaviors geared towards employees are so egregious that you could file a civil lawsuit as well. For example, if your boss intimidated, belittled, or used profane language against you, you can show there was a pattern of abuse that resulted in your mental illness. The judge will look at the patterns you provide and decide whether or not to award you a claim based on your treatment at work.

For more information about workers' compensation law, get in touch with a law firm near you that specializes in this area.