Can You Seek Workers’ Compensation for PTSD?

Workers Compensation PTSDMany workers assume that workplace injuries only refer to the physical injuries that happen at the workplace. They may not think to pursue workers’ compensation benefits for the mental health disorders that they have developed from workplace accidents.

Think of the many occupations where workers have suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, for example like retail workers being berated by angry customers because of empty shelves, or nurses being attacked by patients over pandemic protocols, or teachers being threatened by frustrated parents who wanted to go back to in-person learning. Data published by the National Library of Medicine posits that “Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following pandemics is a significant public health concern.” It is no wonder that workers across the country have been experiencing PTSD in greater numbers

Fortunately, Maryland is one of the states that acknowledges PTSD as a work-related injury. At Plaxen Adler Muncy, PA, our experienced Maryland workers’ compensation attorneys can help fight for the compensation you are owed for your mental work-related injury.

When is PTSD considered a work-related injury in Maryland?

While Maryland considers PTSD an occupational injury, there are other factors that determine whether workers can receive workers’ compensation benefits for this condition. One of the factors involves the type of occupation. Although workers in all fields are capable of suffering from PTSD symptoms after a workplace accident, there are specific occupations where PTSD is more likely to happen compared to other occupations.

Which professions are most at-risk of developing PTSD?

In addition to police officers, some of the workers who frequently experience PTSD due to employment include:

These workers routinely work in conditions that can cause workers to develop PTSD simply from the nature of their jobs. For example, an emergency care provider can develop PTSD from constantly being exposed to death and traumatic situations with patients. The symptoms of PTSD can be so damaging that workers are unable to physically continue to perform their duties.

What are the symptoms of PTSD?

According to the Mayo Clinic, PTSD can manifest differently, depending on the person. The most common symptoms include intrusive memories, including flashbacks of the event, and changes in behavior and thinking. Some victims may engage in self-destructive behaviors or suffer from suicidal ideations; others may struggle to sleep or avoid contact with close friends and family.

These behaviors can have a real-world effect on a person’s ability to work, leaving them unable to support themselves.

If you only experience PTSD symptoms, are you allowed to file a workers’ compensation claim?

Yes. In Maryland, you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim if you have experienced PTSD symptoms after experiencing a traumatic event at the workplace, even if that event did not cause you physical harm. The only challenge, however, is proving how detrimental your symptoms are and how they influence your ability to perform at the job.

Best methods to prove a workers’ compensation claim for PTSD

Insurance companies will search for reasons to deny workers’ compensation claims even if the injury is not PTSD-related. For workers who only experience PTSD symptoms with little to no signs of physical injury, insurance companies will take extra time to comb over the claim for any discrepancies. One of the best ways to strengthen the legitimacy of your PTSD symptoms is to maintain consistent appointments with a psychiatrist or other mental health specialist. This helps not only to provide evidence of your PTSD symptoms but to track the progress of your symptoms. Unlike physical injuries, PTSD symptoms are not always immediately present. Sometimes workers experience symptoms weeks and months after an incident has happened.

What workers’ compensation benefits can I claim for PTSD?

Depending on the nature of your PTSD work-related injuries, you can be offered different types of compensation. One of the types of compensation involves reimbursement of any medical expenses you have paid treating your condition thus far. Another type involves temporary benefits for any time that you took off of work recovering from your symptoms. In some cases, you can be rewarded permanent benefits if a mental health specialist has determined that your symptoms affect your ability to permanently work.

Our experienced Maryland workers’ compensation attorneys at Plaxen Adler Muncy, PA can help you receive the benefits that you deserve from your PTSD work-related symptoms. To schedule your free consultation, call us at 410-730-7737 or complete our contact form. We have offices throughout the state of Maryland to better serve you.