Trauma At Work: PTSD And Workers' Compensation

If a psychologically stressful event has changed the way you view your workplace, you may be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This debilitating mental condition can make it difficult, if not impossible, for you to do your job, and the effects of it can steadily creep into your home life as well. You may be able to collect workers' comp benefits as a result of your disorder, so read on to learn more.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD has been recognized in the most recent version of the definitive psychological disorder manual, the DSM-5, as a mental disorder. This inclusion means that, as an officially recognized condition, you may be eligible for workers' comp benefits if you are suffering from it. This disorder is often characterized by sufferers undergoing "flashbacks," where you are forced to relive a traumatic event. Additionally, people who suffer from PTSD may experience a number of other symptoms, such as depression, anxiety, mood disorders, trouble eating and sleeping, and more.

PTSD and Your Work

Most people just automatically associate PTSD with soldiers returning from war, but this disorder can affect anyone who witnesses or is involved in a traumatic event. The following civilian jobs and situations could put someone at risk of developing this disorder.

  • A gunman enters a school where you are a teacher.
  • An unusually gruesome accident scene awaits an emergency medical technician.
  • You are working later than usual and are attacked and raped at your workplace.
  • A co-worker commits suicide while at work.

Proving PTSD for Workers' Comp

It could be a little more challenging to prove a PTSD case, but you should understand that you are entitled to benefits and you deserve the opportunity to heal and return to work. To help get your claim approved, take the following steps:

1. Get treatment for your PTSD from a professional mental health expert, get that treatment consistently, and keep good records of your treatment. With your therapist's help, you can not only get better, but have a verifiable record of the way your disorder is affecting your ability to work at your job.

2. As soon as you know that you are suffering from PTSD, report your condition to your supervisor so that a workers' comp claim can be filed. Workers' comp, if you qualify, will cover the cost of your therapy and provide you with a portion of your wages while you stay home and recuperate.

You may need the help of a workers' comp attorney to prove your case. If so, take action quickly and get started on the road to recovery. Contact a firm like Hoffman, Hamer & Associates, PLLC for more info.


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