A Guide to Filing Workers’ Compensation for Stress

In today’s fast-paced world, work-related stress and emotional injuries are a common concern for many employees in Pennsylvania. Sadly, employers and insurance companies downplay the severity of stress related workers’ compensation. 

If you developed a work-related psychological injury or are experiencing job-related stress which is affecting your well-being, a Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney at the Win Big Law will fight to get you the compensation and benefits you need to build a successful future. 

Can You File A Workers’ Compensation Claim for Stress?

Yes. Pennsylvania law allows injured workers to file for workers’ comp benefits for stress injuries and emotional injuries. Specifically, employees can try to receive workers’ compensation benefits for three types of mental health injuries:

Physical / Mental Injuries

Employees develop mental health issues as a result of suffering physical injuries.

Mental / Physical Injuries

Employees develop physical stress injuries due to workplace place stress and anxiety.

Mental / Mental Injuries

Employees develop a mental health disorder due to psychological injuries.

Stress-Related Workers’ Compensation Claims Are Taken Case-By-Case

To receive workers’ compensation, an injured employee must prove they suffered an injury or developed a mental illness while in the scope of their employment. While physical symptoms and illnesses are often contested, stress-related and psychological injury workers’ compensation claims are subject to higher legal standards. This is because mental stress is recognized as an inherent feature of most jobs. 

Common Claims of Work-Related Stress

Work-related mental stress can manifest in various ways. Common reasons for a workers’ comp stress claim include stress resulting from workplace harassment, sexual harassment, workplace violence, long working hours, violent crime, or other abnormal traumatic incidents. Identifying the specific causes of your stress is crucial when filing a workers’ compensation claim in Pennsylvania.

Signs of Work-Related Stress

Recognizing the signs of work-related stress is essential for both your well-being and your workers’ compensation claim. Symptoms, some related to post-traumatic stress, may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Memory loss
  • Impaired thinking
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Anger issues

Understanding how stress is affecting you can help strengthen your Pennsylvania workers’ compensation claim.

Proving Your Stress is Work-Related

Proving your stress and anxiety are directly related to your work can be challenging but is essential to receive benefits from successful workers’ comp stress claim. Documentation of work-related incidents, medical treatment, records from a mental health professional, witness testimonies, and expert opinions can all strengthen your workers’ compensation claim. Each type of mental health workers’ compensation claim has different legal requirements:

  • Physical / Mental Injury – According to the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, an injured employee must prove their psychological injury developed as result of a physical injury.
  • Mental / Physical Injuries – Pursuant to the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, an employee must prove (1) the mental health stressor caused the physical stress injuries; (2) the physical or bodily injury persists after the mental health stressor is removed; (3) and the mental health stressor has cost the individual lost wages.
  • Mental / Mental Injuries – As stated by the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, an employee carries a heavy burden of proving certain circumstances or workplace stress caused them to develop a mental health condition. Specifically, an employee must prove a bizarre event occurred at a specific time or prolonged exposure to abnormal working conditions caused them to suffer a psychological condition.

How Much Is a Stress-Related Workers’ Comp Claim Worth?

The value of a stress-related workers’ comp claim varies based on factors such as the severity of your psychological condition and its impact on your ability to work. If you are rated as permanently or totally disabled, you may be entitled to 2/3rds of your average weekly lost wages for up to 500 weeks or longer. As of 2023, the highest amount you can receive is $1,273.00 per week.

Other Mental Health Considerations for Workers’ Comp

Historically, workers’ compensation claims for stress related injuries were difficult to prove. In 2013, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court created a new standard for employees seeking workers’ compensation benefits due to a traumatic event. Specifically, employees must prove (1) an emotional injury which they have sought medical treatment for and has been diagnosed by an expert mental health professional; (2) the psychological injury can be directly traced to an identifiable source, and (3) the incident alone, as opposed to other comparable incidents, caused the psychological condition.

How an Experienced Workers’ Comp Attorney Can Help

Navigating the complexities of a stress-related workers’ comp claim can be daunting. At Win Big, our experienced Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyers in can guide you through the entire process, from gathering evidence to negotiating with your employer’s workers’ comp insurer.

Contact us today to learn more about our service and for a free consultation.

Summary of Stress-Related Workers’ Comp Claims

Filing a Pennsylvania workers’ compensation stress-based claim requires a deep understanding of the legal and medical aspects covered by workers’ compensation. From proving the connection between your stress and work environment to estimating the potential value of your claim, each step demands aggressive representation by a Pennsylvania workers’ compensation lawyer. With the right resources and legal support, the workers’ compensation attorneys at Win Big can help you navigate this process effectively and work towards the compensation you need for your well-being.

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