Any type of workplace can be a stressful environment, there’s no doubt about that. But what if the level of stress is abnormally high? What if a life-threatening injury is suffered on-the-job, or a worker gets assaulted by a supervisor or co-worker? Traumatic experiences can result in more than just “ordinary” stress.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is an anxiety disorder that causes an individual to relive the events of a traumatic incident again and again. If you are afraid to go to work, or are overcome by an intense response to traumatic memories from a work-related incident, you may have PTSD. And you may be eligible for workers’ compensation in Massachusetts?
If you have been diagnosed with PTSD, the next step toward collecting workers’ comp is to provide evidence showing the PTSD was caused by a workplace incident. In Massachusetts, mental and emotional disabilities are eligible for workers’ comp. Certain occupations are more commonly associated with high stress and mental health issues, such as PTSD. Examples of these occupations include law enforcement, firefighters, EMTs, and military personnel. Workers in these jobs are more commonly exposed to violent, dangerous, or traumatic situations. But that doesn’t mean you have to be a police officer to be eligible for PTSD-related workers’ comp benefits.
Common Symptoms of PTSD
PTSD is an emotional disorder characterized by a variety of symptoms. The symptoms below are associated with PTSD and can range in duration and severity.
- Flashbacks of a traumatic event
- Depression or anxiety
- Violent behavior
- Self-destructive actions
- Obsessive compulsive behavior
- Problems with memory and focus
PTSD can also result in physical symptoms and sickness. The following medical conditions are associated with PTSD:
- Severe headaches
- Stomach ulcers
- Elevated blood pressure
- Cardiovascular problems
- Nausea and vomiting
- Lethargy and fatigue
PTSD may make an employee unable to work for an extended period of time. For this reason, workers’ compensation benefits may be available. Although MA workers have a right to get workers’ comp for work-related PTSD, the claims process can be highly complex. In addition, obtaining benefits for psychiatric injuries can be especially challenging. Insurance companies are notorious for challenging whether emotional disorders, including PTSD, are actually work-related. Continue reading