Psychological Disability Workers Comp

There is no clear cut answer as to whether or not mental conditions are covered by workers compensation. The rules and procedures currently in place for dealing with psychological illnesses continue to be changed and updated, and often vary depending on a worker's location. Some states may be more likely to address the psychological components in a workers comp case, while other states may be more likely to deny coverage. Generally, a psychological condition must be either related to a physical injury or illness or the direct result of a workplace incident in order to be covered, however in some cases it may be possible to win a claim solely for mental impairment.

Psychological and Mentall Illnesses that Affect an Employee's Functional Abilities

Many different mental conditions may affect a workers ability to perform their job, or may cause complications when recovering from a workplace accident.

Condition

Common Symptoms

Panic disorder, also called anxiety disorder

Irritability

Fatigue

Sleep disturbances

Difficulty concentrating

Panic attacks

Bipolar disorder

Severe mania and depression

Mood swings

Impaired judgment

Delusions

Schizophrenia

Hallucinations

Delusions

Disorganized behavior

Impaired communication

PTSD

Flashbacks

Jumpiness, anxiety

Emotional detachment, depression

Irritability, anger

Self destructive behavior

Mental Illnesses and Complications

Anyone suffering from a suspected psychological condition, whether related to a workplace incident or injury or not, should seek treatment immediately. In some cases, a job related injury may trigger or bring on a psychological condition, such as PTSD, anxiety disorder, and even bipolar disorder. In other cases, an underlying mental condition may impact a person's recovery from a physical injury. For example, someone with untreated schizophrenia may be unable to follow doctor's orders after an injury, causing a delay in their recovery. Often, a mental condition needs to be addressed and treated in order to successfully heal from a physical condition. When trying to make a workers comp claim involving a mental condition, a psychological evaluation must be performed and submitted, along with any other medical records and doctor's recommendations.

Psychological Categories and Workers Compensation

Usually, workers comp divides mental issues into three categories:

1. Mental/Mental - a mental disorder without any physical injury, which is often not covered by workers comp
2. Physical/Mental - a mental disorder caused by a physical injury, usually covered by workers comp
3. Mental/Physical - a mental disorder that causes a physical illness or injury, sometimes covered by workers comp

Help from a Lawyer

No one should have to suffer needlessly from a treatable mental condition. Anyone who is unable to work due to psychological factors should seek legal counsel in order to get the help they need. Claims for mental illness are frequently denied by insurers, however an experienced attorney may be able to successfully secure compensation.

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