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Are There Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Missouri For Mental Illness or Injury?

A psychological injury can be just as debilitating to an individual as a physical injury.


Most people associate collecting workers comp benefits with an accidental physical injury from work. They don’t consider circumstances where a person’s mental capacity has been affected by an unforeseen event that makes it difficult to function during normal activities. If you have been mentally injured at work, but are being denied benefits, contact the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann at (314) 361-4300 today.

Psychological injury can be just as debilitating to an individual as a physical injury. So long as it arises out of your employment, you are entitled to receive benefits for a mental disability. Even though these injuries are impossible to see, they are just as valid as any other claim for compensation.

Psychological Injuries on the Job

There are a number of psychiatric and psychological injuries that can occur as a result of your job. Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is one example, but depression and anxiety are also included. To help define the myriad of psychological disorders, Missouri workers’ compensation laws generally categorize them in one of three ways:

  • Physical mental – This refers to a case where an employee is first physically injured on the job, but grows depressed as a result. The depression may stem from losing certain physical functions, or because he is unable to return to work. In these cases, the worker may be entitled to therapeutic care and even medication in order to help ease the depression.
  • Mental physical – In these cases, a traumatic event at the worker’s job has led to a mental condition that makes it impossible to work. A cashier for example who is held-up at the register but not physically harmed, may experience panic attacks at the thought of returning to work at the register. This type of case is hard to prove, but possible with the help of a Missouri workers compensation attorney.
  • Mental mental – A pure stress claim is the hardest psychological disorder stemming from work to prove. The injury is typically caused by a repetitive negative mental stimulus, such as harassment or bullying in the workplace. One of the reasons why these cases are difficult is because the worker is often questioned about why they did not report the incidents, rather than allow them to escalate.

Since the terrorists attacks on 9/11 in 2001, workers’ compensation courts have become more open to the idea that a traumatic event at work can cause debilitating mental injury. These can make it difficult to function as before, much in the same way that a physical injury can. If you have been injured in this way, you will require time to receive treatment from a professional and heal properly.

Work Related Injuries

Updated: March 11, 2022