A fall or mechanical accident will cause physical harm to a worker, but what happens when their psyche is affected instead? Many people have a mental illness and they go to work and function regularly, but when mental illness is caused by a work environment or circumstances, then their treatment may be covered by workers’ compensation. Treatment for mental illnesses can also go alongside treatment for a physical injury, as these issues may arise after trauma.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
When an employee is injured or becomes ill due to circumstances surrounding their job, their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance steps in to assist the worker. If the employee cannot return to their job, workers’ compensation provides replacement wages based on their current income and limits set by the state. If a person can eventually return to the workforce but their earning potential is affected, workers’ compensation will assist with the differences. Any medical treatment an employee requires because of a work-related injury will be financially covered, as long as the treatment is considered reasonable and medically proven to help an ailment.
When it comes to mental health and workers’ compensation, unfortunately being constantly stressed at work or being in a hostile work environment is not enough for benefits. A person may qualify for benefits if they are diagnosed with one or more of the following because of a work-related incident:
- PTSD: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is associated with a person witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event. This may be developed from personally experiencing a traumatic injury or witnessing a traumatic event. Watching a coworker die or experiencing an assault at work can have just as much as an effect on a person as a physical injury. A person experiencing PTSD may have flashbacks, nightmares, and memory issues which can affect their ability to perform at work.
- Depression: Everyone experiences sadness, but depression is a deep sadness where medicine or therapy may only do so much. Depression can cause mental and physical devastation to a person and should be taken as seriously as a physical injury. The difficulty of getting benefits solely for a mental illness is that it must be proved that work caused the condition.
Contact an Aurora Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Although proving work caused a mental illness such as PTSD or depression can be challenging, you have the right to file for workers’ compensation benefits for them. With assistance proving that a workplace incident caused mental illness, contact an experienced Kane County workers’ compensation attorney today to discuss your options. Call our office at 630-907-0909 to schedule a free consultation.