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The Impact Mental Health Can Have on Workers’ Compensation


Most people who think of workplace injuries are likely envisioning the physical ones such as a broken limb or back injury. However, another type of work injury can also occur that is very common but much less talked about – a mental health injury.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 5 US adults aged 18 or older reported at least one mental illness in 2016. This equated to 44.7 million people. Additionally, 63 percent of Americans are part of the American labor force. Therefore, there are a lot of workers dealing with mental health conditions caused by factors both in and outside of the workplace.

Why Should Employers Care About the Mental Health of Their Workers?

Local 10 News recently reported that experts say ignoring co-workers at the office actually helps employees avoid burnout. While anyone who has had been cornered with an oversharing coworker likely understands how workplace stress can occur, results of this study actually indicate that co-worker interruptions cause many to lose focus on the job at hand. In fact, the experts asserted that it can take nearly a half-hour to regain complete focus after being stopped by a colleague. However, this isn’t the only problem with the impact a workplace can have on mental health.

The CDC has also asserted that the costs for treating people with both mental health disorders and other physical conditions are 2 to 3 times higher than for those without co-occurring illnesses. Therefore, mental health conditions can affect the amount of workers’ compensation benefits that workers receive, even for strictly physical conditions. By addressing mental health issues in the workplace, employers can reduce health care costs for their businesses and employees.

This helps explain why Local 10 News previously reported that more than 60 companies, including Lyft and Rent The Runway, were planning to give their employees “me time” during work hours as a part of a one-day campaign called “National Mental Health Break”. In an apparently continuing trend among tech companies, this campaign was intended to raise awareness about mental health in the workplace and encourage more companies to have ongoing dialogues with employees about mental health days so they aren’t viewed as taboo.

What Are Examples of Mental Injuries That Can Lead to Workers’ Compensation Claims?

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Stress-related illnesses.

Fortunately, you don’t have to attempt to figure out the root of your symptoms alone. A doctor can diagnose your specific mental condition. Additionally, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can examine the circumstances of your injury and advise you on whether it qualifies for workers’ compensation benefits.

Have You or a Loved One Been Injured in a Workplace Accident?

Attempting to obtain workers’ compensation benefits for a mental injury can be much less straightforward than gaining benefits for a physical injury. Regardless of the details of your injury, you need competent legal help if you have been injured at work while working during the scope of employment. Fortunately, the Miami workers’ compensation attorneys at Payer & Associates have significant experience obtaining success in the face of complicated circumstances that present a challenge. You should allow us to help you get the benefits you deserve. Begin by contacting us today to schedule a free consultation.


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