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Does Workers’ Comp Cover Mental Health?

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Posted By KSK Law | April 28 2023 | Workers' Comp

When a workplace injury occurs, workers’ compensation insurance can provide critical financial support. Workers’ compensation benefits can help pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and temporary and permanent disability. 

We often think of workplace injuries as purely physical, but mental health conditions can arise as well. It is a common misconception that workers’ compensation will not pay for mental health care or related damages. While mental illness alone is not covered by workers’ comp, you can recover benefits if the mental injury impacts your physical health and vice versa.

Mental Illness as a Standalone Condition

Some jobs can be incredibly stressful and demanding. Over time, employees in these positions can develop mental health conditions that impact their daily life, including depression, anxiety, and chronic stress.

Although these conditions can be damaging, purely mental injuries are not usually covered by workers’ compensation. According to Minnesota law, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the only mental health condition that is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits

Mental Injuries That Impact Physical Health

Mental health conditions can have a significant impact on physical health. For example, depression can lead to chronic pain, headaches, and fatigue. Similarly, anxiety can cause muscle tension, gastrointestinal issues, and sleep disturbances. Extreme stress can also lead to stomach ulcers or even health palpitations.

In these situations, the employee would be able to recover workers’ compensation benefits for both the physical and mental injuries. However, he or she will need to prove that the mental condition was caused by work and did not involve normal employment actions, such as performance reviews.

Physical Injuries That Impact Mental Health

Physical injuries can also have a profound impact on mental health. For example, if an employee is severely injured in a violent accident, he or she could develop PTSD. A permanent disability may also lead to conditions like depression and anxiety; employees can struggle to adjust to changes in their physical abilities and the impact on their daily lives.

In such cases, workers’ comp may cover the cost of mental health treatment related to the physical injury. You could recover benefits to help pay for therapy, medication, and other necessary expenses in addition to treatment for physical injuries.

Speak to a Minneapolis Workers’ Comp Lawyer Today

Navigating the relationship between workers’ comp and mental health can be complex, and it can be challenging to understand your rights and the support available to you. Additionally, proving the link between a mental injury and a physical injury can be very complex and involve a significant amount of evidence. In these situations, it is essential to seek the guidance of a Minnesota workers’ comp lawyer.

An attorney can guide you through the workers’ compensation process and protect your rights. Your lawyer can help you gather evidence, negotiate with insurance providers, and provide legal support if your claim is denied or if you need to appeal a decision. He or she can also help you understand the requirements for filing a claim and the types of benefits you may be eligible for.

As soon as possible following your workplace accident, seek medical attention. Then, schedule a free consultation with a Minneapolis workers’ compensation lawyer to discuss your case and plan your next steps.

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