Are mental health issues covered by workers’ compensation?

Imagine being at work and witnessing a terrible accident. It may shock you to your core, leaving you disturbed and upset. You may feel anxious about coming to work or depressed about what has happened to your colleague. Whether you are the one who is injured or not, you may suffer from injuries caused by trauma. Your injuries could be psychological in nature, but that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be treated.

There are many kinds of mental health issues that are covered by workers’ compensation so long as it can be shown that those conditions are linked to the workplace in some way. For example, witnessing and accident or being under significant stress could both trigger mental health conditions that may need medical support.

What are the three categories of mental health injury claims recognized in the state of Minnesota?

There are three categories of mental health injury claims that are recognized within the state. These include:

  • Mental stress that results in psychological injuries
  • Physical trauma that results in or worsens existing mental health concerns
  • Mental stress that causes a physical injury

Here are a few examples. Kerry is under intense pressure to turn in a project by a deadline. Despite pointing out that there wasn’t enough time, he is regularly criticized. He worries about losing his job or being demoted. He starts having panic attacks. This is a manifestation of that mental stress.

If Lisa is working and slips and falls, her injury could cause mental health concerns. For instance, a traumatic brain injury may impact her mood, or she may feel depressed over her injuries.

In a third example, if John goes to work for many hours a day due to overtime requirements, he may start feeling fatigued. If he stops getting enough sleep and has an accident resulting in an injury on the job, then mental stress may have been a factor.

Workers deserve to receive treatment for psychological concerns

If your work has led to psychological issues, it’s important that you seek treatment. In most cases, workers’ compensation will cover your medical care as long as the mental health concerns you have can be linked back to your job.