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Can I Get Workers Compensation for Depression and Anxiety in Missouri?


If you work in a highly stressful environment and have noticed that your mental health has taken a turn for the worse, here is what you should know.

When most people think about workers’ compensation, they think about employees who suffered physical injuries like cuts, broken bones, burns, head injuries, or intoxication. However, they may also think about conditions that occur or are aggravated by the work environment, such as developing baker’s asthma after prolonged exposure to irritants or carpal tunnel because of intense, repetitive movement. 

However, our jobs can affect not only our bodies but our minds too. If you work in a highly stressful environment and have noticed that your mental health has taken a turn for the worse, here is what you should know.

workers compensation for depression and anxiety

Workers Compensation for Mental Health

Physical injuries are often easy to identify. For example, if a person falls and breaks their legs, they will generally be expected to receive workers’ compensation benefits for their injury. But, if you work in a negative and toxic environment or your job is extremely stressful, and you are under a lot of pressure all the time, then your mind could be the one taking the hit. 

The problem with mental health issues is that they are not necessarily visible. Hence, it also becomes more difficult to prove the connection between the illness and the job. However, just because filing a workers’ compensation claim for mental illness is a bit more difficult doesn’t mean that you should give it up altogether. Instead, speak with an experienced St. Louis workers’ compensation lawyer who can evaluate your situation and help you understand if you may be entitled to workers’ compensation.

Mental Health Conditions Covered Under Workers Compensation

Worker’s compensation is a system designed to help employees overcome injuries or illnesses that occurred due to performing their jobs. In Missouri, this refers to both physical injuries and mental stress or hardship that the employee suffered as a result of their job. 

However, to qualify for workers’ compensation for mental health, the problem must interfere with one’s ability to perform their job. Therefore, a few stressful days generally won’t get you workers’ compensation. But, if your work experiences are generally bad or if you work in a highly stressful environment and your anxiety affects your job as well as your regular life, then you may have a case. 

For example, a first responder may develop anxiety from routinely seeing victims of accidents and violence. If their mental health compromises their ability to work, they may file a claim for workers’ compensation and have their wage and medical treatment covered until they recover.  

Work with an Experienced Lawyer

You have the burden of proving that your injury or illness is a result of your work. It can be an intimidating and overwhelming process, especially if this is your first time. However, a St. Louis work injury lawyer at the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann can help you understand what you legal rights are. We can help you gather evidence, build your case and fight for the compensation you are legally entitled to.

4 Common Misconceptions About Mental Health at Work

Mental Health Is Not a Real Issue in the Workplace

construction worker with a mental health condition

This could not be further from the truth. Mental health is a very real issue in the workplace, and it can have a major impact on employee productivity and morale. According to a study by the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly one in five adults in the United States experiences some form of mental illness each year. That means that there are millions of workers who are dealing with conditions like depression, anxiety, and stress on a daily basis. Sadly, when employees are struggling with their mental health, they are prone to absenteeism, presenteeism, and job dissatisfaction.

It’s Not My Job to Deal With Someone Else’s Mental Health Problem

Imagine that your colleague at work is having a bad day. They’re snapping at people, their work is suffering, and they generally seem unhappy. While you may feel like it’s not your business to get involved, ignoring the problem may only worsen it. Not to mention, mental health problems can have a ripple effect on an entire team. When one person is struggling, it can impact productivity, morale, and even the physical health of others.

So, what can you do to help? First, consider trying to have a conversation with the person. See if they’re open to talking about what’s going on. If they are, lend a listening ear and offer support. If they’re not ready to talk, that’s okay too. Just let them know that you’re there for them when they are.

Talking About Your Mental Health at the Workplace Will Make It Weird

Just like physical health, your mental health is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, talking about your mental health at work can actually help to make the workplace a more supportive and productive environment. You might be shocked at how many of your co-workers are dealing with similar issues.

If you’re struggling with your mental health, the best thing you can do is to talk to your supervisor or HR representative. They can help connect you with resources like employee assistance programs or counseling services.

You’ll Be a Less Valued Employee Because of Your Mental Health Problem

This is perhaps one of the most damaging misconceptions about mental health in the workplace. When people feel like they are not valued or appreciated at their job, it can exacerbate existing mental health problems and lead to new ones.

Remember, your value as an employee is not defined by your mental health. You’re just as valuable and just as capable as anyone else.

Seeking Compensation for a Work-Related Mental Health Condition

As with any other injury, if your mental health condition is a result of your job, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. To qualify, you’ll need to prove that your mental health condition is work-related. This can generally be done by showing that the symptoms began after starting the job or after a traumatic event at work. You’ll also need to have a diagnosis from a qualified mental health professional.

To help you get the benefits you deserve, it’s important to work with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. At the Law Office of James. M. Hoffman, we understand the challenges you’re facing, and we’re ready to help. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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