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Do mental illnesses qualify workers for workers’ compensation?

On Behalf of | Mar 4, 2024 | Workers' Compensation |

All jobs come with a certain level of risk, some more than others. Workers’ compensation exists to help employees who sustain injuries or illnesses while performing their work duties.

Physical dangers are not all employees face; they may also develop mental illnesses, such as anxiety or depression, directly or indirectly because of their jobs. When they do, they may wonder if they are eligible to receive workers’ compensation.

Workers’ compensation covers mental illnesses

In Pennsylvania, workers’ compensation covers mental health problems as long as they are due to work. There are generally three ways a worker can qualify for benefits for a mental illness. The first is that the job is directly responsible for a mental illness. Maybe a workplace condition causes anxiety. The second is that a physical injury or sickness caused by work results in a mental illness. This may occur when the pain or trauma of an accident or the recovery process causes depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder. The third way is that a mental illness from the job leads to a physical injury, such as an ulcer.

There is a statute of limitations

Workers must report injuries to employers within 120 days of the incident or within 120 days of becoming aware of the connection between the mental illness and their work. Pennsylvania law also has an “ordinary working conditions” exception, which means that workers’ compensation does not cover mental injuries that result from normal workplace interactions or stressors that are common to all jobs.

According to Mental Health America, in 2022 over 80% of workers stated that work-related stress had a toll on their overall mental well-being. Mental illness can have a serious impact on performance at work, overall health and quality of life. Workers can receive workers’ compensation to help ease any associated medical burden if their mental illness is due to workplace conditions or duties. Contact a workers’ compensation specialist today to get a free initial consultation and receive help navigating workers’ compensation problems.