Can You Receive Workers’ Compensation for Stress and Anxiety?
From covering medical treatment costs to paying for lost wages, workers’ compensation benefits are important for your employees. But do workers’ comp benefits cover stress, anxiety or other mental health-related claims? The answer is that it depends on the injury.
Stress, anxiety and other mental health-related claims are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. However, many states do often allow employees to collect workers’ compensation for stress-related injuries. For instance, California
often cover these claims.
To get coverage, your employee will need to prove that their job caused their anxiety or stress. They’ll also need to clearly distinguish how their stress came from work and not their outside life.
What Is Covered for Mental Health and Workers’ Compensation?
To receive workers’ compensation for stress and anxiety, an employee’s job must be the cause of their injury or illness. Mental health injuries that a workers’ comp policy may help cover include:
- Anxiety disorders
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Unlike a physical injury, mental illnesses can be more difficult to prove. Mental health injuries need to be severe enough to disrupt your employee’s ability to do their job. Some scenarios that may receive coverage include:
- A shooting in your business that leads to multiple employees filing claims for PTSD.
- Your employees filing workers’ compensation claims for anxiety after feeling harassed by an aggressive co-worker.
If you have an employee that’s so stressed out from their job that they can no longer function normally, they should document what they’re experiencing formally in a report. They’ll want to include the date, time, cause and description of the work injury. Once they do this, you can report their workplace injuries by filing a claim with your insurance company.
Common Questions About Stress and Workers Compensation
Is Stress Leave Covered by Workers' Compensation?
Many states do cover stress leave for workers’ compensation. Typically, this includes coverage for physical stress injuries and mental stress injuries.
Is Work-Related Stress Considered a Disability?
Stress-related injures become a disability if they impact your worker’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. Workers’ comp claims for stress-related injuries are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
How Do You Prove Work-Related Stress?
While physical injuries are easy to document and prove, work-related stress injuries can be tougher. As an employer, you should encourage your employees to tell you or their other managers when they’re experiencing stress. They should also file a formal report and have their co-workers make notes of events they’ve witnessed, writing down dates and including:
- Who was there
- What everyone said
- How you handled it
Does Workers' Comp Include Stress?
If an employee can prove that their job caused them stress and it’s harming their performance on a daily basis, they may be able to get workers’ comp coverage. This can depend on the injury and state where the employee works.
Can You Get Workers' Comp for Anxiety?
Similar to stress, if employees can prove that their job caused them anxiety and they’re struggling to function on a daily basis because of it, they may be able to get workers’ comp.
Workers' Compensation From The Hartford
Depending on the injury, workers’ compensation can help cover mental health issues. Generally, psychological injuries involving an employee’s mental health are eligible for coverage if they impact your worker’s ability to function throughout the day. However, understanding the different workers’ compensation laws by state
will help determine this.