Can I Get Workers’ Compensation for PTSD After a Traumatic Event at Work?

PTSD extends far beyond soldiers who’ve been in combat. Even your job can lead to it.

Estimates show that around 70% of adults will experience a traumatic event in their lifetime, and around 20% of them will go on to develop PTSD. People often associate PTSD with soldiers who, when they get back from wars or active duty, are left with the crippling psychological effects of warfare.

However, PTSD extends far beyond soldiers who’ve been in combat. Even your job can lead to it.

upset man on the phone

PTSD and Your Job

PTSD is a complex mental disorder that can be caused by traumatic events. However, a “traumatic event” can mean different things to different people, and if two people go through the same exact traumatic event, it doesn’t necessarily mean they both will develop PTSD, or that any one of them will.

As with many other mental health issues, PTSD causes and risks are mixed:

  • Going through stressful experiences
  • Family history of mental health
  • A chemical imbalance in the brain
  • Your personality
  • History of abuse or exposure to other traumatic events
  • Lack of a support system
  • Having co-existing mental health conditions, etc.

And when it comes to your job, there are many events that can be considered traumatic:

  • The death of a co-worker
  • A work accident
  • High levels of stress that may trigger PTSD
  • Bullying, discrimination, or abuse
  • Assaults, etc.

Some jobs put you more at risk of developing PTSD, such as working as a paramedic who is often the first-responder to gruesome scenes. This can obviously take a toll on your mental health and may lead to PTSD.

However, “safer” jobs aren’t completely safe. For instance, if an accountant faces discrimination at work almost constantly, this can affect their mental health. If they were already pre-disposed to mental health issues, they could potentially develop PTSD as a result.

Is It a Disability?

PTSD can be a disability but that depends on the severity of the disorder. Of course, mental health disorders can be so crippling that people are no longer able to abide by the rules of a normal life, which includes working.

In Missouri, you can file a workers’ compensation claim for mental health issues without needing a physical injury to justify your mental disorder. That means you can file a claim for PTSD treatment even though you were not physically injured.

Whether your PTSD case becomes a disability will greatly depend on how well you do in your treatment. Not even a therapist can predict whether or not you will completely win against PTSD. But in the event that this disorder renders you unable to work, by law you are generally entitled to benefits.

Discuss Your Case With an Experienced Attorney

If you’re suffering from PTSD and as a result cannot return to work, reach out to a workers’ compensation lawyer for additional help in getting properly compensated for your PTSD.

Get FREE Legal Advice

Call today to speak with an experienced Missouri workers compensation attorney!

Call (816) 399-3706
Updated: May 22, 2020

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