Highway workers and first responders have questioned the legality of workers’ compensation insurances denying benefits to those who have developed mental distress.
Some would argue that there are very few jobs that come without day-to-day stress. Some occupations come with an excessive amount of stress due to the nature of the work. If you are in a highly stressful workplace environment and it is a natural hazard of the career path you have chosen, is it possible for you to receive mental health benefits through workers’ compensation?
When is job-related stress that is taking its toll on your emotional well-being worthy of mental health compensation benefits? Uncovering the answer can be tricky when stress is a part of your job.
What does an employee have to show to prove that work-related stress is higher than normal?
Recently, workers from high-stress occupations like highway workers and first responders have questioned the legality of workers’ compensation insurances denying benefits to those who have developed mental illness or mental distress due to the conditions that they face while on the job.
Due to Section 287.120.8 of Missouri’s revised statute regarding workers’ compensation, a worker must be able to show that if they have faced extreme stress that was different than what other workers in the same field experience. A worker has to be able to prove that the conditions they faced were somehow more extreme or more unusual than what other employees in the same occupation witness or experience.
If you are in a high-stress job, it is very difficult to make a claim for mental health illness due to work-related stress. Unless you can prove that the stress that you have encountered is somehow different than what would be expected by any other employees in the same field, typically, your mental status would then be ruled a condition to which you are predisposed and, therefore, would be outside of the realm of workers’ compensation.
When can you receive benefits for workers’ compensation?
Although receiving mental health benefits is not an easy thing to do, it is not impossible. In workplace situations where you have been exposed to incidents like violence that cause an unusual amount of stress, you may be entitled to receive compensation for mental conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
It is nearly impossible to work in any industry and to not encounter stress from day to day. Stress is a necessary evil to any work environment. Due to the difficulty of proving a stress-related claim, your case will likely require the help of a St. Louis workers’ compensation lawyer to succeed.
If you are a worker who has had to endure an extremely outrageous incident or stress that is above and beyond a normal hazard of what you would expect in the industry that you work, although not easy, it is possible to receive workers’ compensation benefits for resulting mental illness. It is critical that you hire a St. Louis attorney that specializes in workers’ compensation to help you get the compensation you need.