One of the least understood types of workers compensation claims is the psychiatric injury claim. Employers understand the physical injuries like a bone fracture or a laceration, but the mental injury claim is more difficult for employers to accept as a workers compensation claim. Employers are often befuddled, perplexed or doubt the validity of the mental injury claims.
Note: State statutes and case law which interprets state statutes varies so some things in this article may not apply to your company or your situation. Check with YOUR legal counsel before using this material as anything more than a thought-provoking article of interest.
1. The claim is compensable only if the employee is an eye-witness to a tragedy – for example, the employee sees another employee get run over by a train.
2. The claim is compensable only if the stress is caused by events beyond the ordinary every day stress of the job.
3. The claim is compensable if workplace stress, fear or anxiety causes it (except the fear of being disciplined, terminated, transferred, etc. do not qualify).
4. The claim is compensable if caused by any job-related stress.
Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. She is the author of the #1 selling book on cost containment, Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL: www.WCManual.com
MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR: www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
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