Is Work-Related Stress and Anxiety Covered by Workers Compensation in Missouri?
Even though our society has come a long way in recognizing mental illness as being a serious and real problem, most of us still think solely of physical injuries when we hear about workers’ compensation benefits. However, as most of us already know, stress related to one’s job is an incredibly common thing.
People commonly get overworked, stress about losing their job, work overtime hours, or find their working environment hostile and emotionally draining. We have all likely heard of someone who went through this kind of stress at their workplace or perhaps it has even happened to us. So why shouldn’t this type of damage be covered by workers’ compensation?
Psychiatric and Psychological Injuries Under Missouri Law
In the state of Missouri, workers’ compensation laws include mental injuries in the list of injuries that can be covered. A work injury is one that has a work accident or work exposure as the prevailing factor causing it. Proving that your mental illness is a result of your work conditions is necessary in order to receive workers’ comp benefits.
Mental injuries are classified as following in the Missouri workers’ compensation law:
Physical mental injuries: some of the most common work-related to mental injuries follow a physical injury. For example, a worker can have panic attacks or suffer from PTSD as a result of a catastrophic injury at the workplace.
Mental physical injuries: sometimes, mental injuries caused by working conditions can lead to physical impairment. People who suffer from severe depression may not be able to perform their work anymore.
Mental injuries: a purely psychological disorder caused directly by one’s working conditions is very hard to prove, but it’s under the incidence of workers’ compensation coverage. Such mental injuries can be caused by emotional abuse, bullying, harassment, etc.
Getting Workers’ Comp for Stress and Anxiety
Stress and anxiety are some of the most common mental injuries that stem from the workplace. Unfortunately, such disorders can be very difficult to prove in a workers’ compensation claim. You will have to prove that the stress or anxiety you are feeling is excessive and interfere with your productivity or have a direct impact on your general health. You will also have to prove that the stress or anxiety you are experiencing is directly caused by your work.
We strongly recommend speaking with a St. Louis workers’ comp attorney who can evaluate your case and help you recover compensation. Still, your claim may be denied. In this case, your attorney can advise you on the best course of action to take.
Law Office of James M. Hoffmann
2001 S Hanley Rd #325, St. Louis, MO 63144
Phone: (314) 361-4300
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