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Can I Get Workers Comp for Stress and Anxiety?

If you are feeling stress from work and it is due to “extraordinary or unusual” treatment, you may have a workers compensation case.

If you feel stressed at work, you are not alone. In fact, the American Psychological Association has found that roughly 75% of Americans report having felt moderately or highly stressed at some point in the last month. This stress is usually manageable, but sometimes it will build until the point of a psychological break. At this point, an employee will experience significant emotional pain, have their job performance suffer, and may end up injured or fired because of it. If you are feeling stress from work and it is due to “extraordinary or unusual” treatment, you may have a workers compensation case. To determine if you do, it is a good idea to speak with a workers comp attorney as soon as possible.

What Causes It

Many factors can cause stress in the workplace. A few typical examples are working long hours, having an unpleasant boss, excessive workload, poor relationships with coworkers, and unreasonable deadlines. What often exacerbates work stress is an inadequate support system outside of work. If your personal life is filled with stress too, you will not be able to decompress, and your work stress will continue to grow.

Why It is Hard to Prove

To obtain workers’ compensation, you need to prove that your damages are legitimate and were sustained at work. For a mental condition like stress, this is incredibly hard. First, you need to show that your stress is excessive. Standard stress is expected and is not worthy of compensation. To receive benefits, you need to be stressed to the point of it being severely damaging to your health. Second, you need to prove that it is solely due to work. If your stress comes from your personal life too, this will complicate your case and likely lead to denial.

Can I Receive Workers’ Compensation?

Winning a workers’ compensation claim for stress is very rare. The two reasons for this are outlined above. You need to prove that your stress is both debilitating and caused by work, which is tough to do. If you believe you can prove these two points, though, you have a shot. Compensation cases for stress have been won in the past, and you could win one too.

An Alternative: Personal Injury

In a situation characterized by severe stress, there is a good chance you will not have a valid workers’ compensation case. That being said, you may be able to sue an individual for personal injury. An example of this would be suing a verbally abusive boss who caused you to have a panic attack or mental breakdown.

The vast majority of stress cases that are influenced by work are not acceptable for benefits, whether that be workers’ compensation or personal injury. That being said, under certain extraordinary circumstances, they might be. If you suspect your case is strong enough for compensation, it is a good idea to get in tough with an experienced workers compensation attorney. Give us a call 24/7 at (816) 399-3706 for a FREE case evaluation.

Updated: December 18, 2020

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