Can You Claim Workers’ Compensation for Stress?
You have likely been stressed at work at some point or another. You might have even been so stressed out that you contemplated quitting.
You probably heard about people filing workers’ compensation claims for stress. Is this a possibility for you?
It depends on the state you live in. Workers’ compensation is governed by state law, so the laws and requirements vary from state to state. In Florida, for example, a person cannot claim stress as a reason unless there is a physical injury to accompany it.
Under Florida Statutes Section 440.093, a mental or nervous injury caused solely by stress is not considered a workplace injury. There will be no payment of benefits for mental or nervous injuries unless the person, during the course of their employment, suffered a physical injury that required medical treatment.
If you do suffer a physical injury, your next step is to prove that the stress you experienced was directly caused by the physical injury. This part is not easy. In fact, it can be, well, stressful. You will need to have sufficient evidence from a licensed psychiatrist. This evidence must be based on the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic and statistical manual.
On top of that, it will need to be proven that the physical injury was responsible for at least 50% the cause of your stress. It cannot be caused by pre-existing conditions.
Stress is to be expected in any job. You cannot expect to perform your job duties without incurring stress from co-workers, bosses, customers and the job duties themselves. In fact, some degree of stress can be good for you. It can help you stay on track during a presentation or help you avoid mistakes that could impact you or your company.
However, too much stress is not ideal. If you are constantly stressed out, your work and relationships will suffer. Too much stress can hinder productivity and performance.
If you are feeling overwhelmed at work, the first step is to let management know. They may not be aware that you are taking on too much. Make sure your complaint is formally documented in writing so there is a paper trail should you need to take further action.
In the meantime, document instances in which you are feeling extremely stressed out. You may need to take a break from work. Use your vacation time to unwind. Perhaps a transfer to a different department or new duties may reduce your stress.
If your employer is unwilling to accommodate your situation, then it may be time to seek legal help. You may be able to file a personal injury claim against your employer. Contact a lawyer who can assess your case.
Contact an Orlando Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
While physical injuries are covered under Florida law, stress at the workplace is not a valid excuse to receive workers’ compensation benefits. You will need to prove that your stress was caused by some sort of workplace injury in order to make a claim.
Sometimes employers try to deny workers’ compensation claims. The Orlando workers’ compensation lawyers at Payer Law can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Schedule a free consultation by calling 866-930-1238 or filling out the online form.