Depending on the state in which you work, you could recover workers’ compensation for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In the state of California, workers are generally entitled to workers’ compensation for PTSD. Yet, getting workers’ compensation benefits isn’t easy.
For that reason, you may consider partnering with a workers’ compensation lawyer. They can assess your case, file your claim, and advocate for what you need. What’s more, they can also gather the evidence needed to recover benefits.
You Could Get Workers’ Compensation for PTSD
The California Division of Workers’ Compensation notes that you can get workers’ compensation benefits for PTSD and other work-related mental health conditions. But what exactly is PTSD?
According to Mayo Clinic, PTSD is a mental health condition that arises from experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. These events could be one-time incidents or occur over the course of many years.
PTSD is generally associated with those enrolled in the military, police officers, nurses, firefighters, and other frontline workers. However, there are other instances where you could suffer PTSD from a work-related incident. As mentioned, if you suffered an on-the-job injury (whether physical or mental in nature), you can request workers’ compensation benefits.
How to Receive Workers’ Compensation for PTSD Under California Law
According to Cal. Lab. Code § 3208.3, a psychiatric injury is compensable if the employee:
- Can prove that actual event of employment was at least 51 percent responsible for the development of their mental disorder; or
- Can prove that a violent act in the workplace was at least 35 percent to 40 percent responsible for the mental disorder; and
- Has been employed for at least six months by the company where their illness developed; and
- Received medical treatment or experienced a disability that prevented them from completing their work; and
- Was diagnosed with a medical disorder under normal circumstances.
If an employee files a claim for compensation after being terminated, laid off, or voluntarily leaving their job, they would need to prove that employment was a predominant reason for the mental health disorder, and one of the following must exist:
- Sudden and extraordinary events of employment were the cause of the injury.
- The employer has notice of the injury prior to termination.
- The employee’s medical records prove that treatment was taking place prior to the termination.
- Sexual or racial harassment is found.
Understanding these requirements can quickly get complicated. If you want answers to your workers’ compensation-related questions, an attorney can answer them.
You Can Claim Workers’ Comp Benefits for Other Mental Health Conditions
As noted, workers’ compensation allows you to seek financial recovery for any illness or injury you developed as a result of your job. This isn’t just limited to PTSD. You could also claim damages if your job caused you to suffer:
- Substance abuse disorder
- A recurrence of a once-managed mental health condition
You need evidence to supplement your injury case. A lawyer could use your psychiatric records, personal testimony, and treatment plan to bolster your claim. They may even consult third-party field experts (like licensed therapists) to learn more about your job-related impairment.
A Quick Note About Workers’ Compensation in California
You can’t recover compensation if the injury arose from “lawful, nondiscriminatory, good faith personnel actions.” This means that if you suffer anxiety from normal working conditions that are considered lawful, you could have problems seeking workers’ compensation for PTSD. If this situation sounds familiar, again, it could benefit you to partner with an injury lawyer.
How Can a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Help?
A workers’ compensation attorney can help prove that a work-related event (or events) caused you to suffer PTSD. These work-related incidents can include bad faith actions, a violent situation in the workplace, constant abuse, long hours, or unrealistic work expectations that led to a mental breakdown.
While you can seek workers’ compensation for PTSD, there’s a high burden of proof required. This means you must furnish evidence that links your condition to your work to recover damages. For many people, this can get difficult––especially if they already had a pre-existing health condition, like depression.
Yet, an attorney can gather the evidence needed to support your claim, including psychiatric records and your doctor’s testimony. With the information they find, your lawyer can push for a fair resolution to your case.
You Could Retain a Lawyer’s Help at No Out-of-Pocket Cost
It costs you nothing out of pocket to work with a workers’ compensation lawyer from our firm. We work on contingency, charging nothing until your case succeeds. Even then, our attorney’s fees come from your final settlement. You can learn more about this no-strings-attached arrangement during your free case review.
Your Lawyer Can Seek Optimal Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Per the California Department of Industrial Relations, a workers’ compensation claim for PTSD can include:
- Medical care
- Temporary disability benefits
- Permanent disability benefits
- Supplemental job displacement benefits
- Death benefits
When it comes to mental health injuries, compensation normally covers medical care and temporary disability benefits. Yet, you could seek permanent disability benefits if your condition permanently affects your working ability.
Your attorney can review your case and determine how to proceed. They can also explain what benefits you can receive.
Contact KJT Law Group to Learn More About Seeking Workers’ Comp Benefits
If you experienced a traumatic event or continuous hardship in the workplace, and you were diagnosed with PTSD, then you could recover workers’ compensation benefits.
Yet, to get these benefits, you must prove that work-related events were more than 50 percent responsible for your diagnosis.
At KJT Law Group, our workers’ compensation lawyers in California are ready to help you receive the compensation you deserve for a non-physical injury suffered at work. Contact us to explore your options during a free, no-obligation case review, call (818) 507-8525.