Does workers' compensation for mental health therapy apply after a work accident?

When you have a medical diagnosis that you developed a mental health condition related to your employment, it can become a workers' comp claim.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can occur after a person has experienced a traumatic event.

We're most familiar with soldiers experiencing it upon returning home from war. But it can happen to anyone who has been in or been witness to a catastrophic accident or traumatic event.

Iowa workers who were severely injured in an accident on the job have a risk of developing PTSD following their accident. Even after physical wounds have healed, going back on the job or even just thinking about work can trigger symptoms of PTSD such as anxiety, panic attacks, and depression.

When Workers’ Compensation for Mental Health Therapy is Applicable

Mental conditions from the workplace can occur for many reasons. The most common cause is suffering a severe injury on the job and developing PTSD after the injury. However, a worker can experience a mental condition from just witnessing a co-worker in a horrific accident.

Workplace stresses and events can also lead to conditions like PTSD. People who work in stressful jobs like EMTs and firefighters may experience several gruesome accidents in their lifetime which can take a toll on their mind and body over time. People who work in a hostile, stressful job can also suffer from anxiety and fatigue if their job duties expose them to abuse and other trauma.

Difficulties Common with Mental Health Therapy  Workers' Comp Cases

Causation is the most important aspect of a workers’ compensation claim. First, you will require a medical diagnosis of the mental health condition. Second, you will need to connect that condition's cause to something that occurred while you were on the job or an injury sustained while working.

Workers' comp benefits for mental health therapy can be extremely difficult to collect in cases of mental health disorders. Most mental health conditions do not appear immediately, and some such as PTSD can take months to develop and present in your daily life.

The ease with which you can win a workers' comp case for mental health therapy is partially dependent on how long it has been since the traumatic incident that caused your mental health condition. The longer it has been, the more tenuous the relationship between your work struggles and your subsequent disorder. 

Lawyers Help When Having Trouble Getting Mental Health Therapy

As long as you have the proper evidence to show that your mental health condition occurred because of a work-related event, and a doctor corroborates this, workers' compensation should cover the cost of mental health therapy.

If you are denied coverage for therapy, Walker, Billingsley & Bair is here to help. Call (888) 435-9886 or fill out our online contact form to find out about your legal options for ensuring your mental health medical expenses are covered.

Corey Walker
With 19 years legal experience, Corey has been recognized for his work as an injury attorney.