Is it true that I can file a workers comp claim for emotional or mental stress related to my job?

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Question:

Is it true that I can file a workers comp claim for emotional or mental stress related to my job?

Answer:

According to the US National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety, job stress is defined as any harmful or hurtful physical/emotional responses you may experience when your job doesn't match your capabilities, strengths or weaknesses. Job stress, according to OSHA, can damage your health and lead to injury. There is no doubt that stress exists in the workplace, and that such stress can have ramifications on the wellbeing of corporate employees.  However, can employees attempt to enter workman’s compensation claims in such stress-related cases, and is it possible that psychological disorders and compensation for those disorders may result?  

The simple answer is that it depends.  Workers comp can apply in stress situations depending on: 

  • The corporation’s rules and policies regarding stress and workers come payouts in such instances.  Different corporations may define stress-related injuries differently.
  • The laws governing such payouts in your state.  Some states are friendlier to stress-related workers comp claims than others.
  • The specific situation you have faced.  If you are considering filing a claim simply because your job is stressful, you are not likely to have a case, as many corporate jobs are stressful.  However, if you can prove that your employer creates a deliberately hostile environment with ill effects on your health, you may have more standing.

If you are considering making a claim for workers compensation based on job stress, you should strongly consider speaking with an experienced workers compensation attorney. Your lawyer can help you gather the evidence you need to increase your chances of making a successful claim.

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