Can You Get Workers' Compensation Benefits for PTSD? 

PTSD is an abbreviation for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Even though the term and the diagnosis are relatively new to the American Psychiatric Association's manual of mental disorders, aspects of PTSD can be traced down through thousands of years of written history. Soldiers of ancient Assyria, for example, had clear symptoms of the now clearly-defined PTSD, bear in mind that the Assyrian records are more than 3000 years old. While PTSD is associated with combat where one fears and battles for their own life, it's not the only cause that can result in PTSD. The amount of violence today is considerably lower than it was thousands of years ago. But as explained by the attorneys at, PTSD can develop from accidents or incidents that incur serious personal injury.

There is no denying that one can suffer from PTSD at almost any job, but the question is can you get workers' compensation benefits from it?

When can it be covered?

The worker's compensation will only cover PTSD as long as the sufferer's symptoms are similar to those stated in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the APA. A psychologist or a psychiatrist diagnosis should refer to it as well. The main obstacle when it comes to filing PTSD claims is knowing exactly how your state deals with it. The stress symptoms should at least last a month or start after a month of the traumatic event for the condition to be considered PTSD and not an acute stress disorder in most states.

Type of Injury

As we've mentioned, states do not all share the same outlook on PTSD. Some have PTSD specifically mentioned in their compensation laws, which means that once a licensed psychologist states that you have PTSD and it meets the APA's manually, like in the state of Minnesota, it's compensable. The problem arises when you're in a state that doesn't have the same mental/mental injury compensation laws. Most states easily recognize mental injury caused by physical injury and compensate for treatment. But if the state doesn't declare or specifically recognize PTSD as a claim, it won't be easy to get compensation.

Filing the claim

Once you start suspecting that you're suffering from PTSD due to a work-related event, you should speak with your doctor and your employer. Time is usually of the essence as there are some deadlines that if you miss filing your claim before, it becomes null and you lose the compensation benefits. While your doctor and employer can provide you with all the necessary paperwork to file the claim, according to your state, you may need to consult with a worker's comp specialized attorney to make things smoother.

PTSD claims are not known to be the easiest claims to win with workers' compensation due to all the complex elements and state-provided hoops that you may need to jump through. It's quite recommended to check with your doctor/psychologist to know how you should go about treating it and check or consult with an attorney to see if you're eligible for a strong claim.

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