Protecting the Rights
of Injury Victims

Thomas DeLattre and Glen D. Wieland

Can mental health be a personal injury for workers’ comp?

On Behalf of | Sep 23, 2021 | Workers' Compensation |

Mental health is a component of personal injury in a Florida workplace that is often underappreciated. Of course, mental health is crucial to the well-being of employees. More employers and legal stakeholders are becoming aware of the fact that mental health can be a significant part in the functioning and success of their workers, whether that is related to a physical injury or its own condition.

Is mental health compensable?

Generally, mental health is not compensable the same way that physical injuries are. Current workers’ comp policies typically don’t include mental health; employers tend to view the onsite physical injury and nothing more as the relevant component of an incident. Not only does that mean that expenses and other costs for mental health aren’t covered, but many employers are not sympathetic or understanding of the mental component to injury, even when it affects productivity. Stress, PTSD, and other factors will likely not be compensable in a workers’ comp claim although they relate to a workplace incident.

Mental health may be covered by workers’ comp in the future

There is growing awareness of the importance of mental health, however, which means that more agencies are providing support and care for mental health as part of their package of services. This is a positive step, but it does not mean that mental health conditions are compensable either alone or as part of a greater workers’ compensation claim that involves physical injury.

The rate of change means that in the future, mental health might be covered in the same way that physical injuries are now. Until then, workers may only be able to claim physical injuries that occurred due to on-the-job activity, whether the injury was the result of a sudden accident or gradual repetitive activity.

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