If you have involved in a psychologically stressful situation at your job, you may be eligible for workers compensation. While it is more challenging to receive workers compensation benefits as a result of PTSD, claims are allowed and it is possible to recover damages, including your medical expenses and lost wages if the illness is found to be permanent. PTSD is a serious and debilitating disorder and could impact your ability to work. Here is more information about PTSD and tips on proving your case.
What Is PTSD?
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is recognized as a mental disorder and listed in the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). This disorder is precipitated by witnessing or being involved in an unusually terrifying or horrific event. The symptoms include "flashbacks" in which you find yourself re-living the event days or even months later, sleep disturbances, eating disorders, and many other psychological manifestations caused by the situation.
PTSD and Work
To qualify for workers compensation, the traumatic event must have occurred at work or in connection with you job. While most people connect PTSD with soldiers who witness horrifying events while at war, there are many civilian jobs and situations that could result in PTSD. For example,
- You are a teacher and your school was the target of a gunman.
- You are a first responder and experienced an unusually gruesome accident scene.
- You were attacked and raped at your workplace.
- You witnessed the death or serious injury of a co-worker, friend, or family member.
Proving Your Case
PTSD cases are not as easy to prove as physical injury cases, but you can take steps to ensure that your claim is approved:
- Get consistent and well-documented treatment from a mental health professional, preferably a psychologist or psychiatrist. You will need to prove, with your therapist's help, how your symptoms affect your ability to do your job.
- Report your illness to your supervisor as soon as possible and ensure that a worker's compensation report is filled.
- Gather witness statements from co-workers, friends and family about how the traumatic event affect your day-to-day life and your time at work.
- Be prepared for the worker's compensation insurance company to investigate your life in a very invasive manner. They will be attempting to show that your mental issues are caused by events in your private life, and not work-related.
You will need a worker's compensation attorney to assist you with your claim. Contact an attorney like Paul F Guthrie early on, as soon as you know or suspect that you are suffering from PTSD, and get good legal guidance from the beginning as you gather evidence and build your claim. You can get the compensation you deserve for this devastating disorder, and with the help of a workers compensation attorney you will have one less issue to worry about as you work toward getting better.