Stress Related Illness and Workers' Comp

It’s no secret that stress can make you feel bad mentally. Did you know that stress can also make you sick? It can also inhibit your ability to recover from another illness or injury in a timely manner. Have you ever worked at a job that was so stressful that it made you physically ill?

If so, how did you handle it? Did you take paid time off? Did you take unpaid time off? How did you manage to buy groceries and pay your bills?

If you’ve suffered from a stress related illness because of your job, you may be entitled to receive benefits through workers’ compensation.

What Is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that comes at no cost to employees. It is required by state law for most employers.

Many people believe that workers’ compensation can only help them if they have a physical injury from their work such as a broken ankle. Workers’ compensation can help people who suffer from a stress related illness, too.

To be eligible for workers' comp insurance, he stress related illness must arise out of your occupation.

If you suffer from a stress related illness as a result of your job, you may qualify to receive benefits through workers’ compensation.

However, to qualify for any benefits, you must first choose file a workers’ compensation claim. To do this, you should speak with your manager or with Human Resources.

There are many benefits that you may be entitled to receive through workers’ compensation. You may not qualify for every benefit.

The benefits you will qualify to receive will depend on the severity of your stress related illness.

One of the most common benefits is assistance with your medical bills. This may include visits to the doctor or a therapist.

Stress-Related Illness Workers' Comp Lawyer

Medications, and may even include hospitalization. Another common benefit is partial wages.

If you are unable to work either temporarily or permanently as a result of your stress related illness, you may qualify to receive a portion of your wages.

Occupational training is another benefit. It is often provided if you will be unable to return to your original profession.

This is a way to learn new skills with minimal expense so that you are able to re-enter the workforce.

What Are Some Stress-Related Injuries?

When you go to work and carry out exactly the same job every day you could be subjecting yourself to a stress-related injury. Many workers never realize that taking part in a repetitive job could eventually lead to stress-related injuries which can prevent them from working either for a temporary period or permanently, depending upon the severity of the stress-related injury.

RSIs are known by several titles in state workers' compensation systems, including repetitive stress injuries, overuse injuries, and cumulative trauma,(a larger category that includes other injuries that develop over time, like hearing loss from repeated exposure to loud sounds).

Whatever name they go by, repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) encompass a wide range of disorders, including lower back discomfort, carpal tunnel syndrome, bursitis, tendonitis, trigger fingers, rotator cuff syndrome, epicondylitis (also known as tennis elbow), and more.

There are also mental health conditions that are stress-related including anxiety, depression, psychosis, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). All of these stress-related injuries could prevent you from undertaking work-related tasks until you have been treated and fully recovered.

Those jobs that are high risk for stress-related injuries include the following:

  • agricultural workers
  • bus drivers
  • delivery workers
  • firefighters
  • grocery workers
  • health care aides
  • housekeeping cleaners
  • janitors
  • meat processing workers
  • musicians
  • nurses
  • pipefitters
  • plumbers
  • professional athletes
  • stock clerks

The Risk of Stress Related Injuries

There are two types of stress related injuries: physical stress injuries and mental stress injuries. Physical stress injuries occur when you continue to do certain actions and the stress of the action eventually causes a physical problem.

Any occupation can have a activities that can lead to a stress related injury. For instance, administrative assistants who spend a lot of time typing are at risk for a physical stress related injury: repetitive stress injury or carpal tunnel.

A construction workers may use jarring machines on a long term basis. This can cause nerve, muscle, or joint damage.

Emotional stress injuries or sicknesses that are a result from mental stress are harder to prove.

However, if you’re able to do so and if you live in a state that covers emotional stress under workers’ compensation laws, you may be able to file a claim.

Stress related injuries, regardless of whether they are physical or mental, need to be reported right away. Do not continue to work.

Notify your manager right away. Continuing to work can make minor injuries much worse.

Talk With a Workers’ Compensation Attorney

You should take the time to talk with a workers’ compensation attorney. A workers’ compensation attorney can help ensure that you get the workers’ compensation benefits that you deserve.