Many studies show that correctional officers have a higher risk of developing various mental disorders such as PTSD, anxiety, or depression as a result of their work.
Correctional officers are often exposed to violence on a daily basis. Some report that violent outbursts from inmates are common occurrences, but if they manage to get out of the crossfire safely, it doesn’t mean they have completely avoided injuries.
Some report that violent outbursts from inmates are common occurrences, but if they manage to get out of the crossfire safely, it doesn’t mean they have completely avoided injuries.
Many studies show that correctional officers have a higher risk of developing various mental disorders such as PTSD, anxiety, or depression as a result of their work. These employees need help, and the cost of medical treatment should generally be covered by workers compensation.
Understand Your Rights
Missouri law recognizes that a worker isn’t just at risk for physical injury, so it offers workers compensation benefits even for treatment needed for various mental or emotional conditions, including PTSD.
If you showing signs of this condition or any other form of distress, it’s imperative to get help as soon as possible. PTSD or other mental disorders do not go away on their own. In fact, they may get even worse if left untreated.
However, even if the law protects your right to get compensation for PTSD treatment, it also imposes certain procedures you must follow. Otherwise, it may hurt your claim, and you could be asked to cover the costs of treatment yourself.
How to Get Compensated
When it comes to workplace accidents, you have to notify your employer of your condition as soon as you can. For PTSD or other mental affliction, though there is no accident to speak of, the principle still stands – give official notice to your employer that you are experiencing PTSD, and let them know you want to file a workers compensation claim.
Under the Missouri law, your employer has the right to choose the doctor who will be treating you, though this right is often handed to the insurance company that will hand out the benefits. Because of this, if you first get treated, and then file a claim for workers compensation, it may get denied, because the company or employer did not choose the medical specialist. It may seem very unfair, but legally they are allowed to.
For correctional officers, the official guide states you have to get ‘official authorization’ before seeking medical care, and that care must come from an authorized medical provider unless it is an emergency where you have to receive immediate care.
As such, it’s imperative not to skip this step if you want to receive workers compensation. Once you notify the employer, you can file the compensation claim.
Speak With a Workers Compensation Attorney
In these cases, it’s best to work with a St. Louis workers compensation lawyer. PTSD is a very complex disorder that can be caused by a variety of different things, and the insurance company may try to find a way to dismiss your claim. For instance, if you’ve previously served time in the army, they could argue that experience caused the PTSD and not your job. To ensure your rights are protected right from the start of your claim, get in touch with an experienced attorney at the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann. Give us a call today at (314) 361-4300 for a FREE case evaluation.