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Can I Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits for a Mental Condition?

September 14, 2022

Approximately one in five Americans experience some form of mental illness. Left untreated, anxiety, depression, and stress can interfere with your daily tasks, relationships, and overall quality of life. Mental health conditions can also have an enormous impact on a person’s ability to handle all of the responsibilities that come with their job.

In some cases, employees are eligible for Workers’ Compensation for a job-related illness. The CDC reports that mental health issues account for 200 million lost workdays every year. In terms of productivity, this downtime costs employers between $17 and $44 billion annually.

To obtain Workers’ Compensation benefits, employees must show that their work conditions somehow caused their mental condition, and that condition was not caused by things happening in their home life outside of work. Also, their mental condition must be severe to the point it interferes with their ability to do their job. Workers’ Compensation is not available for employees who attribute their stress to a layoff, unemployment, or a pre-existing condition.

Workers’ Compensation may be available for employees who meet certain criteria. Some mental conditions that may be covered by Workers’ Compensation include:

  • Anxiety disorder.
  • Depression.
  • PTSD.
  • Stress.

What Are the Challenges of Work-Related Mental Condition Claims?

Unlike physical workplace injuries, it is not as easy to prove the cause of a mental condition. To regulate this process, New Jersey Appellate courts have established a three-prong test to determine if coverage is appropriate:

  • The worker’s perception alone is not enough to confirm a stressful work environment. Working conditions must be determined to be stressful when viewed by an objective third-party.
  • The stressful conditions must be unique to the workplace in question, as opposed to conditions that may occur elsewhere.
  • The employee’s statement and/or opinion of their experience is not sufficient evidence of mental illness. There must be objective evidence to support the opinion that a mental health disability exists. This is typically a diagnosis from a qualified health care professional.

How Do I Apply for Workers’ Compensation Benefits for a Mental Condition?

If you qualify for benefits based on the criteria listed above, make an appointment to speak with a Workers’ Compensation lawyer in your area. Because mental condition claims are more difficult to prove, it is best to have a skilled lawyer advocating on your behalf.

A lawyer will guide you through the process of reporting your mental injury to your employer, help you obtain proper medical care, and file a Workers’ Compensation claim. If your claim is denied or you are required to attend a hearing, they can assist with this too.

Workplace injury and illness claims have strict procedures and time limits. Hire a lawyer to ensure the best possible outcome for your Workers’ Compensation case.

Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Help Clients With Occupational Mental Condition Claims

If conditions at your job have left you with a mental injury, get legal assistance today. Our Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation lawyers at DiTomaso Law will treat you and your case with the utmost care and compassion. Call us at 856-414-0010 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We are located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Mt. Holly, Camden County, and Vineland.

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