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Workers' comp may cover PTSD, other mental distress

Most people understand that if they break a leg on the job while carrying out their duties that they can file for workers' compensation benefits. They may realize that they also qualify for injuries and conditions that occur over time, like mesothelioma from asbestos exposure or repetitive stress injuries from an assembly line job.

But fewer know that they may be covered for certain psychological illnesses that they are diagnosed with due to their jobs. Conditions that might make a worker eligible for cash and other benefits include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety or depression.

It should be pointed out that a mental or psychological condition that developed due to work conditions will likely be much harder to prove and potentially easier to deny. But that doesn't mean those with legitimate claims shouldn't press forward with them.

Proving the condition was work-related will be the major challenge. Cases where there was a traumatic incident that occurred on the job, e.g., a workplace shooting or a worker witnessing a gruesome accident that claimed a co-worker's life, might be more rapidly approved.

But there could definitely be other situations where viable workers' comp claims could arise. For instance, an office worker who is routinely subjected to sexual harassment or relentless torment by supervisors or colleagues might prevail with the claim or on appeal.

All claims are reviewed and determined on a case-by-case basis, so it is not possible to state with any certainty that a specific claim will succeed and another fail to be approved. If you believe that you have a valid claim for benefits based on mental or psychological distress, it is certainly worth seeking the advice of an experienced an attorney.

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