Is Stress a Valid Workers’ Compensation Claim?By Kenton Koszdin on October 15, 2018 | In Workers Compensation Claims
In several states, including California, you can submit a Workers’ Compensation claim for stress. However, this is one of the hardest injuries or illnesses to prove and that burden of proof is on the employee, which can make your claim for stress-related injury or illness even more stressful. When making your decision about whether or not to file a Workers’ Compensation claim due to the work-related stress you have endured, take the following into consideration.
Sometimes a short duration of intense stress can result in permanent impairment. Sometimes the permanent impairment results from many years of increased stress. Even if you have a pre-existing psychological condition, the stress you encountered may have worsened it permanently. However, this permanency needs to be proven in order to file a Workers’ Compensation claim.
Everyone deals with stress, day in and day out. Even household chores or attending a child’s birthday party could be stressful depending on the situation and individual. To have a Workers’ Compensation claim approved for stress-related injury, you will need to prove that the majority of the stress was encountered in the workplace or while working off-site. It should be shown that greater than 50% of the reason for ongoing psychological treatment was work-related.
Above Normal Amount of Stress
As mentioned, stress is normal part of life and your job will have stressful functions or situations as well. However, there’s a baseline for the amount of stress certain jobs will have. A desk job may not be as stressful as one requiring climbing on high scaffolding, and a customer service job may not be as stressful as those in law enforcement. If you are dealing with more stress now than you did before due to a change in job description or work load, it can be used for a stress-related Workers’ Compensation claim. This must also be proven.
All proof presented in support of a stress-related Workers’ Compensation claim must be objective. While medical records from your current psychological treatment can prove how long the stress has been endured, you will need to have an objective healthcare professional testify about the legitimacy of the claim as well as the permanency of it. You may also need objective testimony from others in your position within the company about the stress caused by it, or by the company in general.
Because the burden of proof is placed solely on the Workers’ Comp claimant, having a lawyer on your side to help you obtain the proof you need can greatly help you when presenting a stress-related injury or illness for a Workers’ Compensation claim. In Van Nuys, California, and serving the Los Angeles area, Kenton Koszdin is a lawyer with Workers’ Comp experience. If you’d like a free consultation, click here to contact the Koszdin Law Office to learn how this firm may be able to help you obtain the Workers’ Compensation benefits you are seeking.