Many people suffer from anxiety, depression, and even panic attacks as a result of their work environments.
As it can be difficult to prove the medical extent of these injuries, workers’ compensation for stress is usually not an option unless the stress is related to a physical injury.
Workers’ Comp Requirements for Mental or Nervous Injuries
Under Florida law, an employee can only collect workers’ compensation for job-induced stress if he or she also suffers a physical injury. In addition, the employee’s stress and injury must have a significant impact on one another.
Florida law allows a workers’ compensation claimant to get additional benefits for stress if he or she:
- Demonstrates the link between the mental condition and the injury. The employee’s physical injury must be at least 50 percent responsible for his or her nervous condition. For example, if you suffer an injury that causes disability, you may be entitled to further compensation for the depression caused by the disability. On the other hand, if you had anxiety before you suffered a broken leg at work, the two conditions may be seen as unrelated.
- Provides adequate evidence. Claimants must have a diagnosis and prognosis from a licensed psychiatrist according to the criteria established for mental disorders by the American Psychiatric Association.
- Suffers unduly. Workers’ compensation will only provide nervous condition benefits for anxiety related to the specific compensable injury. Therefore, no benefits will be paid for psychological injuries related to being out of work, suffering pain, losing out on job opportunities, or resulting from a pre-existing mental condition.
- Claims short-term benefits only. A person may only claim stress or nervous suffering benefits for up to six months after the date that his or her physical injury reaches maximum medical improvement.
If your physical injury was caused by stress, or you're suffering a great deal of mental and emotional trauma as a result of an injury at work, we can help you get the medical and wage loss benefits you are owed. Simply fill out the quick contact form on this page today to schedule a consultation with our work injury attorneys at no cost to you.