Can You File For Workers’ Comp for Stress?
At one time or another, everyone has felt stress on the job. In fact, the ability to deal with work-related stress is usually regarded as a marketable skill. Many employees hesitate to report stress or to seek help for it, because they fear it might reflect poorly on them. Reporting a stress-related condition also raises questions about other sources of stress in the worker’s life. But when stress leads you to become “stressed out,” and you’re forced to take time away from work and seek therapy for relief, can you make a workers’ compensation claim?
The answer is yes — you are eligible to file for workers’ comp for a stress-related condition. But you should know that you will face obstacles in getting your claim approved. The entry-level question is whether the stress is job related. You must be able to point to conditions at your job that are unreasonable, such as unsafe work conditions, hostility, badgering, ridiculous demands, and long hours. However, you can expect questions about your life away from work to determine whether your personal life plays a larger part in how you feel. Issues such as marital strife, the demands of special needs parenting, gambling, drug and alcohol dependency, and unmanageable debt could create doubt as to the source of your stress.
If you’re under inordinate stress at work and are not sleeping or eating well as a result, so much so that your physical health is deteriorating, you may very well need to see your primary care physician. In doing so, your doctor may warn you that you face serious risks if you don’t make changes, so you follow his advice and see a therapist who recommends you take a leave of absence. That could be just what you need but can ill afford. And that’s why filing a workers’ comp claim to receive temporary disability benefits during the time you are away from work could be so important. But you may need help getting those benefits approved.
Because of the intense questioning you’re likely to face about your private life when you file such a claim, you should consult an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. A concerned lawyer at the Tous Law Group can help put your mind at ease. Call 714-602-4473 or contact our Orange County office online to schedule a free consultation.