It is estimated that nearly 8 percent of Americans suffer from or will experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD at some point in their life. This can severely affect their ability to hold a steady job or earn a proper living wage. In some instances, employees suffering from PTSD can possibly collect Workers' Compensation. The Workers' Comp system can help those dealing with PTSD in a variety of ways.
We most often hear about veterans suffering from PTSD, but you do not have to have endured a war to be able to legitimately claim Workers' Compensation for this debilitating condition. Although many sufferers of PTSD are military service members, those who have endured traumatic life events as children or adults are also vulnerable to developing the condition.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, roughly 5.2 million adults are dealing with PTSD in any given year. The disorder is a byproduct of traumatic events. They include childhood abuse, a physical attack, threats with a deadly weapon, rape, molestation, mental abuse and many more. If you have been a victim of any of these scenarios, you may at some point develop PTSD.
In order for Workers' Compensation to be issued, the traumatic response must be work-related.
There are two categories in which Workers' Comp for PTSD claims must fall:
- PTSD that is a result of a traumatic experience while in the parameters of employment, i.e, a police officer who witnesses death, or a teacher who has been involved in a school shooting.
- PTSD due to an incident that occurred out of work causing trauma that is triggered by surroundings and circumstances on the job. For example, someone who was involved in a shooting who works on a construction site, or in similar conditions, where loud banging or sharp abrupt noises often occur throughout the day.
The first category can be easier to put into a Workers' Comp claim because trauma incurring on the job has a direct affect on mental and physical symptoms related to PTSD; however, because Workers' Comp only deals with work-related injury, you must be able to prove that there is a significant correlation between your PTSD symptoms and your current work conditions.
It is also important to be aware that each state has its own guidelines and standards for determining if claims for work-related PTSD are eligible for receiving Workers' Compensation.
If you think you have a valid claim for Workers' Comp due to PTSD, it may be valuable to contact a Workers' Compensation attorney to help look over your claim, as PTSD-related Workers' Comp claims have to endure the scrutiny of skeptical insurance agents and claim evaluators. If you are claiming that your symptoms of PTSD are triggered by your work environment or a work-related incident, and the trauma dates back to a childhood event, you may find it hard to prove that the work-related incident is significantly related to your symptoms.
OWCPDOCS offers injury care and claims assistance, and may be able to help you navigate the pathway to filing a Worker’s Compensation PTSD case. Call now for a free evaluation.