Work related injuries can come in many forms, and one that many people fail to recognize is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This crippling disorder can wreck havoc on both your work and home life, and you should know that you may be eligible to collect workers' comp benefits if you are suffering from this emotional disease. If you have either witnessed or been involved in a traumatic event at work, you may need to ensure that you have done everything possible to prove your disorder to your employer's workers' comp insurance company. Read on to learn more about this disorder and how to ensure that you get the compensation that you need and deserve.
What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) classifies PTSD as a mental disorder, which means that workers' comp recognizes this condition as an allowable mental disorder for benefit purposes. Anyone who witnessed a horrific event at work and who suffers from depression, anxiety, eating disorders, uncontrolled bouts of anger, sleeping problems, mood swings and more, may have a valid claim for compensation. The hallmark symptom of PTSD is flashbacks, where you are seemingly forced to relive the traumatic event over and over when stressed or in dreams.
How PTSD Can Affect Your Work
This debilitating disorder is well-publicized for affecting soldiers who have been exposed to horrific war-related events, but actually this condition can affect almost anyone. Many civilian occupations present the potential to witness or be involved in traumatic incidents, such as the following:
- First responders, like police, fire and emergency medical personnel who witness an especially gruesome or violent scene.
- Bank employees involved in a robbery.
- An office worker raped in the parking garage.
Getting Your Claim Approved
You may face increased scrutiny when filing for workers' comp for mental disorders like PTSD. Unlike a physical injury, there are fewer methods of evaluating the existence or seriousness of this disorder. To give your claim a better chance, you need to prove that this disorder has affected you so severely that you are unable to do your job anymore. Make sure that you do the following:
1. As soon as you begin experiencing abnormal feelings about a traumatic event, let your supervisor know and follow up with a workers' comp claim form. Keep in mind that this disorder sometimes takes weeks or months to manifest itself, so don't hesitate to take action, regardless of the time line.
2. Seek immediate treatment from a mental health professional and be sure to follow all prescribed treatments and take any prescribed medications. Don't miss any appointments or fail to follow through with your mental health treatments, since this could be perceived by the workers' comp insurance company as a lack of severity for your condition.
3. Be prepared to match your condition symptoms with work tasks. For example, you may be experiencing anxiety about doing certain required tasks to the point that you are unable to safely and effectively complete the work.
If you feel that your claim is not getting the attention that it deserves by the workers' comp insurance company, you may need to get a legal professional, like one from Hamilton Law Firm, P.C., on your side. Contact a workers' comp attorney and let someone else assume that heavy burden of proving your PTSD.