Do You Have A Worker's Compensation Mental Health Claim? What To Consider
Whether it's an overload of responsibilities or difficult-to-manage team members, these types of circumstances can increase stress and make going to work overwhelming. While an employer isn't necessarily required to make your time at work a breeze, they do hold some responsibility when it comes to your mental health – particularly when they are contributing to or ignoring the circumstances.
Reviewing Your Role Responsibilities
When determining whether you have a worker's compensation claim for a mental health issue, start by thinking about the parameters of your position. More specifically, the duties that are outlined within your role of responsibility. Successful mental health claims are often those that involve an employee who is being asked, or forced, to perform duties that exceed the original requirements of the position.
For instance, consider an employee who is stressed because they are being forced to work 12 hour shifts. If the employee was originally on-boarded with this expectation, they might not have a claim. However, if the employee was hired with the expectation that they would only work eight hour shifts, this might be cause for further investigation.
It's not enough to simply tell your employer that your job is causing undue stress. In terms of a claim for workers' compensation, this is something that must also be proven. Generally, this involves an examination by a physician. Unfortunately, this can sometimes be a process that takes longer than expected.
Unlike a broken arm where you can simply perform an X-ray to recognize the injury, mental health related issues aren't as easy to pinpoint. They may require lengthy and multiple visits to diagnose the type of mental health issue you're dealing with and its source.
A Permanent Impairment
Even if you can prove that the job duties you are being asked to perform are above and beyond your position requirements and a physician can formally diagnose and contribute your mental health issues to your employment, permanent impairment is another hurdle you may face.
The examiners that review your claim often look for evidence that your mental health issues are not temporary, but instead a permanent impairment that will affect your ability to work not only presently, but in the future. This is sometimes determined based on the role you are expected to perform at work and the diagnosis of the physician.
If you suspect you are dealing with a mental health concern because of your employment, consider speaking with an attorney from a place like Oxner + Permar, LLC to help get your claim on the right track.