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Can you receive workers’ compensation for a psychological injury?

On Behalf of | Mar 30, 2021 | Workers' Compensation

Work injuries come in all shapes and sizes, and not all of them are visible. Psychological trauma related to your job can cause very real distress and limitations — but are they covered under workers’ comp?

Maybe. Below is some helpful information that can help you determine your eligibility.

Psychological injuries are only covered on limited exceptions

Every state is a bit different, and Georgia is fairly restrictive on this issue. Generally, you can’t collect benefits for a psychological injury that’s related to your job unless you also received a physical injury at the same time.

In other words, imagine the following scenario: You’re working as a clerk in a store at night when masked bandits rush in and hold you up at gunpoint. You’re terrified for your life the entire time they’re there, but they take the money and leave without hurting you.

The trauma has left you with severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and you’re unable to return to work because of the panic you feel even walking through the door. Unfortunately, your psychological injuries are not covered under this state’s workers’ comp system.

If, however, the robbers actually injured you — whether you were shot or pistol-whipped or otherwise hurt during the incident — your PTSD is considered an adjacent claim related to your physical injury. That makes it covered under workers’ comp, even once your physical injuries have healed.

You can expect serious scrutiny of any psychological claims

Naturally, insurers aren’t eager to pay out anything more than they must, so expect your workers’ comp provider to look for any psychological issues you may have had in the past. They may try to claim that your condition was already present prior to your injury to get out of paying.

When you need help with your workers’ compensation claim, don’t be afraid to reach out.

Steven Morgan is a local attorney who understands the needs of his clients and will aggressively protect their interests in a workers’ compensation claim. Call us today at 912-289-0640 or send us an email for more information.