Not all injuries you may be subjected to in the workplace are physical. In some cases, your work may result in the development of emotional or mental conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. Like those who suffer broken bones and other, more visible injuries, you too may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits while you recover.
Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a mental health condition that may manifest as a result of experiencing or otherwise witnessing terrifying or traumatic events. PTSD may cause flashbacks or nightmares, avoidance places or that are reminders of the event, negative thoughts, memory problems, difficulty maintaining relationships, lack of interest, irritability or outbursts of anger, difficulty sleeping or concentrating, and self-destructive behaviors. The symptoms of this disorder may develop shortly after the traumatic event and can last for years after, and they may affect people’s ability to go about their normal everyday activities.
According to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, PTSD is a compensable workers’ compensation injury in the state as of October 1, 2013. Prior to that, this condition was not covered because the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals ruled that PTSD lacked the necessary physical component to qualify for benefits.
There are certain stipulations that must be met for you to qualify for benefits for occupational PTSD. Your conditions must meet the most current description of PTSD in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and be diagnosed by a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist. PTSD is only a compensable work-related condition if it develops as a result of an in the course of your employment. For example, a law enforcement officer who develops PTSD due to regular exposure to upsetting details of sex assault and offense cases may be eligible for benefits.
This post has information that is meant only for general purposes and is not intended as legal advice.