Most people associate post-traumatic stress disorder (also known as post-traumatic stress injury) with combat soldiers. People can get PTSD following different types of trauma, such as distressing occurrences at work. If you have PTSD due to your job, you may question whether you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. The answer is largely determined by your location and the nature of the incident that led to your symptoms.
When petitioning for workers’ compensation based on PTSD, you should expect an uphill struggle, although first responders may have an easier time securing benefits in some states. An Orlando workers compensation Attorney would be able to help you get more information based on the facts of your case, so schedule an appointment today.
What can cause PTSD at work?
PTSD, according to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), is a group of symptoms that occur after exposure to real or threatened death, major injury, or sexual violence. Examples of working situations that could result in a PTSD claim include:
- A police officer, EMT, firefighter, or other first responder is called to a particularly unpleasant or horrible accident or scene of violence.
- A construction worker witnesses an uncommon accident in which one of his coworkers dies.
- A teacher is present when a school shooting occurs.
- An office supervisor is being held hostage by an armed former employee seeking retaliation for a termination.
People suffering from PTSD relive the initial trauma through nightmares, traumatic recollections, flashbacks, and emotional or bodily reactions to any reminders of the original experience. They also have a variety of symptoms, including anxiety, depression, and problems concentrating or sleeping.
Workers comp claims for PTSD
Workers can experience work-related mental or psychological difficulties in three ways. Since it is a mental health problem arising from a psychological or mental situation at work, PTSD is an example of what is known as “mental-mental” claims (in workers’ compensation language).
Compared to so-called physical-mental claims (work-related physical injuries that result in psychological disorders, such as chronic pain from a back injury leading to a sleep disturbance), mental-mental workers’ comp claims are significantly more difficult to prove—if they are even accepted at all. Different states generally have different ways of dealing with mental-mental cases, so having an experienced attorney by your side is important to ensure that you are doing everything correctly. If you have PTSD due to your job, seek professional legal help today and ensure you are not missing out on the compensation you deserve.