Can I get workers' compensation for PTSD from a work injury in Pennsylvania?
Your employers' workers' compensation insurance should pay for all health conditions caused by your work injury. If a doctor diagnoses you with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following a work accident you may be entitled to compensation for that mental injury.
What is PTSD?Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD is a psychological condition caused by exposure to a traumatic event. This condition is most commonly associated with soldiers returning from combat zones, but it can occur to anyone who has been involved in a traumatic situation.
Symptoms of PTSDPTSD is categorized by many symptoms and someone with this condition may experience any combination of the following:
• Flashbacks of the traumatic experience
• High blood pressure or heart rate
• Memory deficiencies
• Startling easily
• Uncontrollable emotions
• Violent behavior
These symptoms may occur at any time, and they are often exasperated by returning to the scene of the trauma. If PTSD develops after a work accident, the victim may experience more severe symptoms when they return to the workplace.
Is PTSD considered part of a work injury?If a worker was unaffected by PTSD symptoms prior to the work accident and later receives a diagnosis after the accident occurs, it is likely that the PTSD was a mental injury related to the physical work injury.
It is important to note that PTSD may occur in an unharmed worker who witnessed a traumatic accident involving a fellow worker.
The most important thing to document is that a doctor diagnosed the PTSD following a traumatic event at work.
Filing for Workers' Compensation for PTSDTo claim damages for PTSD in your workers' compensation claim you must have a doctor's diagnosis of your condition in relation to a traumatic event at work. Additionally, you will need to present evidence of treatment costs in order to receive reimbursement or coverage for those expenses.
If your PTSD is severe enough that it caused you to miss work or quit your job, you may be eligible for compensation for lost wages as well. Throughout the entire claim process it is important to be truthful with both your doctor and your employer about your condition.