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Can you get workers' comp for stress?

Let's not kid ourselves, every job has its share of stress. No matter if you work in manual labor or spend your days at a desk, every occupation has something that raises blood pressure and maybe makes you want to tear your hair out. You've probably heard of workers' comp for physical injuries, but is there any merit to filing workers' comp for stress?

Though some might scoff at the idea of filing for compensation for a mental wound, the answer is more complex than no. It's a strong "it depends." Psychiatric damage is significantly harder to prove than physical damage. More specifically, the challenge lies in finding cases where the level of suffering brought to one's mental health justifies compensation.

The basic logistics of psychological injury

Simply saying "this job is stressful" is going to get you nowhere. But it's good to know the other components that set the basic guidelines for what will get a second look.

  • Commonplace tasks: Every job has everyday tasks. The kind that employers expect you to perform without trouble, because the task itself comes with little to no risk. Filing workers' comp for these has a very low success rate.
  • 6 Month Period: While a physical injury can manifest quickly, mental wounds typically take longer to fester. As such, workers' comp for mental injuries cannot be filed after only working somewhere for a week. It is after the half year mark that the success rate of filing for workers' comp will go up.

Keep resources in mind too

In addition to workers' comp, it would be wise to talk to your employer about what resources are available to pursue. Regardless of whether you can get compensation, there may be support groups or counseling that your job could provide for you. Additionally there are other resources to help you get back on your feet.

Workers' comp is commonly associated with physical injuries, but there is certainly credence to get compensation for mental health, if work produced a disorder or wound of some kind. There are far more rigorous rules that this needs to follow, as mental suffering is far harder to prove. But if you've spent more than six months at your place of employment and have found the psychological damages to be overbearing it is worth pursuing. Even if compensation is not achieved, there may be other resources that you can access through your employer.

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