Three Things To Know About Stress-Related Workers’ Compensation Claim

Emotional stress can trigger or worsen physical health conditions. For example, stress has been linked to respiratory, gastrointestinal, and cardiovascular issues. All these problems decrease productivity by making it difficult for workers to do their jobs. This is one of the reasons workers' compensation insurance may compensate you for work-related stress. However, you may still be able to file a claim for purely psychological injuries. However, before you submit your claim, here are three things you should know:

There May Be a Waiting Period

Some states require you to have been in employment for a minimum period before you can claim workers' compensation for work-related stress. For example, in California, stress can only form the basis for your workers' compensation claim if you have been on the job for at least six months. The situation is different for injuries; you can file a workers' compensation claim for an accident even if you were hired last week.

The rationale for this waiting period is that stress doesn't happen overnight; it builds up over time. The waiting period is designed to weed out those who have pre-employment stress or those who may use stress to execute workers' compensation fraud.

It Is Difficult To Prove

Stress being a psychological (internal) health condition it is much more difficult to prove than physical injuries. If a worker falls and breaks their arm, everyone will be able to see it, and doctors can easily prove it. However, the same is not true for an assembly line worker who is stressed because they cannot keep up with the production rate. Proper documentation, treatment, and the testimony of an expert witness may be necessary.

Not All States Acknowledge Them

Secondly, you should know that not all states recognize emotional stress as a basis for filing workers' compensation claims. The reasons for this are varied, but a common theme is a difficulty of proving these claims. After all, stress is common in many areas of daily life, and it isn't easy to prove that your stress is caused by your work and not other aspects of your life, such as family tribulations. In such a situation, you may have to resort to other forms of remedy. For example, if someone intentionally triggered your emotional stress, you may pursue a personal injury claim against them.

Therefore, don't limit your workers' compensation claims to physical injuries. Any health effect picked up on the job may qualify as long as state laws allow it and you can prove your claims. The involvement of a workers compensation lawyer can always make the process easy for you.