No one should become impoverished due to medical issues that they develop because of their employment. Workers’ compensation helps those who get hurt while working or who develop a disabling medical condition because of their job responsibilities. It will cover the cost of medical care and lost wages in the form of disability benefits.
Someone hurt in a forklift accident can claim benefits, as can someone exposed to a carcinogen who later develops a related form of cancer. Physical injuries and illnesses are often easy to connect with job responsibilities, but the body isn’t the only part of a worker at risk for damage due to employment.
The stress involved in someone’s job and traumatic experiences at work could lead to someone developing serious mental health issues because of their employment. If you experience a violent assault or witness a terrible death on the job, you could develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a condition that requires treatment and accommodations. Will California workers’ compensation cover your PTSD?
Some workers can get PTSD benefits
Workers’ compensation in California will cover the care workers need because of a mental health condition that directly relates to their job. However, the restrictions for such coverage will eliminate many workers from getting benefits.
People in many lines of work could wind up traumatized because of something they experienced or witnessed on the job, but many workers may struggle to get the benefits they need for PTSD. First responders like police officers, firefighters, and ambulance staff or paramedics are among those with the strongest claims for PTSD coverage through workers’ compensation in California at this time.
When does a worker potentially qualify for PTSD coverage?
Not every PTSD diagnosis will result in workers’ compensation benefits. A job that exacerbates a pre-existing diagnosis, for example, may not entitle a worker to benefits in California.
Individuals will typically have to show that the actual events of their employment are predominantly responsible for their mental health condition. The state interprets that to mean that your job has to be at least 51% responsible for the diagnosis.
Learning about how California approaches PTSD for the purpose of workers’ compensation benefits can help you evaluate whether you have a claim for benefits or not.