Can I Get Workers’ Comp for Mental Health Problems?
It is generally very difficult to win a psychological case for workers’ compensation. You may be able to get workers’ compensation benefits for virtually any injury that has caused you real harm, as long as you can prove that you sustained that injury as a consequence of your work, but proving a direct connection between your declining mental health and your work is usually not enough. In order to prove that your condition merits workers’ compensation payments, you must typically demonstrate that abnormal work circumstances existed and played a role in the mental health struggles you experience.
You will likely have even more difficulty if you decide to apply for permanent disability benefits, due to the fact that mental health challenges make it difficult to provide an accurate permanent disability rating. In such cases, you may be able to recover compensation for medical costs associated with a work-related mental breakdown or psychological trauma, but you will need the help of an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in order to have a shot at obtaining the compensation you deserve.
Obtaining Workers’ Compensation for Depression, Anxiety, and Other Mental Health Troubles
You may have an easier time proving that your mental health difficulties are a direct result of your job if you experienced a traumatic event at work or while working. Events such as workplace accidents and violent accidents may create symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress, which tend to take over the lives and minds of affected individuals. You may have developed PTSD as a result of your work. Your physicians opinion as to the causal relationship will be essential to the success of the claim.
In order to obtain the benefits you need, you must be able to prove that your emotional and mental health injuries arise out a physical injury at work , or , that the mental injury arose out of an unusual event that is not normally considered to be customary in your employment. For example, the SC Supreme Court has ruled that a police officer who suffered a mental injury from observing the death of a child on the job could not be awarded workers compensation for the mental injury because violence and death are customary or “usual” occurrences in the course of a law enforcement officers employment. Martinez v. Spartanburg County, Op. No. 27343
406 S.C. 532, 753 S.E.2d 436 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed Jan. 8, 2014). While we disagree with the ruling, it is the current state of the law in SC. We are working with various interest groups to seek a change in the law by the SC Legislature.
We Have Been Serving Injured Workers in South Carolina for 100 Years
At Christian & Christian, we understand the challenges you face when seeking fair compensation for work-related injuries. We have been serving the hard-working people of South Carolina for 100 years, and during that time we have helped many people just like you make strong, compelling claims for workers’ comp benefits. As a result, many of our clients have been able to afford the care they need without spending their hard-earned savings and income.
Let us help. Connect with a Greenville workers’ compensation attorney today by calling (864) 408-8883, or contact us to schedule your free consultation.