Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Workers’ Compensation: Will You Be Covered?
Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a mental health condition that can disrupt someone’s entire life. Caused by experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event, PTSD can affect a person’s ability to communicate, sleep, and work. PTSD can even manifest physically, causing ulcers and severe headaches.
Despite the well-known effects, people suffering from work-related PTSD often face incredible challenges during the workers’ compensation claim process. These cases are more common than one would assume—they are not limited to combat veterans. Men and women who are involved in or witness horrific accidents at work can suffer from debilitating PTSD symptoms.
Rules Governing PTSD Workers’ Compensation Claims in Georgia
While workers’ compensation is meant to help people who have been injured while performing their job, the rules regarding mental health conditions that develop as a result of work are rather vague. Workers’ compensation claims involving mental illness are classified into three categories:
Physical-mental refers to a mental condition caused by physical harm. If a worker was seriously injured at work and suffers from PTSD as a result, his condition would be described as physical-mental.
Mental-physical refers to a mental condition that results in physical harm. If a person developed PTSD which later leads to high blood pressure and ulcers, his condition would be considered mental-physical.
Mental-mental conditions involve mental harm that is caused by a mental (rather than physical) stimulus. If someone witnesses a horrific accident at work and develops anxiety and PTSD as a result, his condition would be considered mental-mental.
Currently, it is not possible to receive workers’ compensation in Georgia for mental-mental conditions, and it is very difficult to receive benefits for a mental-physical condition. Physical-mental PTSD is the most viable option for a successful workers’ compensation claim, but it is still much more challenging than a straightforward physical injury case.
Have You Been Injured At Work?
If you’ve been injured on the job you need to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Augusta office directly at (706) 690-4613 to schedule your free consultation.