Is Workers’ Compensation Available to Individuals with Severe Anxiety?
Some mental illnesses are so debilitating for an individual that she may not be able to keep a job. Fortunately, for individuals who face the constant battle with mental illness, some mental conditions can be claimed and approved for workers’ compensation if it can be proved that the affliction arose as a direct result of work conditions.
Seeking and earning workers’ compensation for mental health issues, such as anxiety, can be an extremely difficult and unsuccessful process, which requires finding a competent and confident lawyer who is willing to take on your case in the first place. Beyond that, having permanent disability benefits granted rarely occurs because many argue that if such a condition was solely work-related, the mental condition would go away once you stopped working in the environment. The most promising outcome that you can expect is temporary benefits for disability and your medical expenses covered while you have a brief hiatus from work.
You would have a better chance of winning your claim if it was directly related to a physical illness or a work-related accident. For instance, if you suffer from a heart attack due to job related stress or you are seriously injured on the job and develop anxiety or PTSD as a result of that injury or accident you may be able to receive workers’ compensation benefits. If your anxiety disorder will prevent you from working on a permanent basis then you may have a better chance of receiving benefits if you filed for Social Security Disability.
Job Related Stress
As defined by the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, occupational stress is any harmful emotional or physical responses that occurs when the job requirements do not match with the resources, needs or capabilities of the employee. You may be qualified to receive workers’ compensation benefits, but they are dependent on the state you live in. You may qualify for benefits if you are:
• Unable to do your job for a certain amount of days consecutively
• Written proof from a doctor which states that you are unable to work due to the severe anxiety
• You have to be currently receiving treatment for the condition
• Depending on your state there may be employment or wage requirements
• A Disability claim must be filed
What to Expect When Examining Your Claim or Eligibility
Before you are able to receive benefits, there is often a lengthy and arduous process to determine if you are, in fact, deemed worthy of receiving benefits and are truly unable to hold a job. During the process, the following may occur:
• A medical evaluation will more than likely be required, you must “ok” access to your medical records
• An investigation may be required involving interviewing different people in your life such as friends, family and co-workers
Living and Working with Anxiety
While severe anxiety is real and it truly can be caused from situations related to employment, these types of cases are extremely hard to win. You are entitled to attempt to file a claim, but unless it is related to an injury or illness that occurred in the workplace, the chances of receiving any kind of benefit are slim. Do your research, find out what the laws regarding this are in your state, consult with a legal professional and then decide if this is what you need to do; sometimes looking for different employment and considering mental health treatment are your best options.