Roughly 264 million people are living with depression in the world. It’s considered the leading cause of disability.
Unfortunately, getting workers’ compensation for depression not easy, primarily because it’s a mental condition. Mental conditions like stress, anxiety, PTSD, and depression tend to be much harder to prove than physical injuries.
Many people aren’t even sure whether depression can qualify them for workers’ compensation. It can, but things can be very complicated. As with all workplace injuries, certain conditions need to be met.
We’ll talk about what some of these conditions are and how to get workers’ compensation for them in the paragraphs below
Getting workers’ compensation for depression is like getting it for any other injury. You don’t qualify unless your injury was caused or aggravated by work. You also can’t be compensated if depression is your only injury.
It’s fairly common for depression to be responsible for a workplace injury or for an injured worker to become depressed because of their situation. Many employers are even happy to help those living with depression and related issues.
Programs known as Employee Assistance Programs, often shortened to EAP, allow employees of a company to receive counseling at no charge to deal with problems affecting their work and lives. While companies are not required to have EAPs, most of them do offer them.
They can help prevent employee injuries and even help employees recover faster.
The exceptions are often smaller companies that can’t afford to offer this service.
In addition to proving that your depression was caused or aggravated by a workplace injury, you need to also prove that you do have depression. You will need to visit a workers’ comp doctor or a workers’ comp psychologist to verify this. A medical exam is important after any kind of accident, but especially for depression.
Diagnosing depression is done through the process of observation and interviews. There is no definitive test to determine if someone is depressed.
Getting a depression diagnosis can also be difficult because depression is a very diverse condition.
While physical conditions like the flu have a very specific set of symptoms, depression can express itself in many ways.
You will need to make an appointment with a psychologist experienced in treating injured workers.
In some cases, you may need to contact a workers’ compensation lawyer. This isn’t always necessary, but are recommended in certain circumstances.
If your injury is moderate to severe and impacts your ability to do your job, especially on a permanent basis, you’ll need a lawyer. You will also need a lawyer if your employer attempts to deny any or all benefits you may be entitled to.
Living with depression is difficult, and getting workers’ compensation for a depression-related injury is even more difficult. However, it is possible.
We’ve talked a little about how to do it in the paragraphs above, but there’s a lot more advice out there. We encourage you to do more research on your own if you’re interested.
If you want more information on dealing with a workplace injury, please visit our site.
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