In today’s fast-paced world, most workers in professional fields suffer from one or the other mental illness. Some of the most common ones include stress, anxiety, and depression. With poor work-life balance and rising competition, mental illnesses have increased on a major scale. Issues related to mental health are often overlooked by both employers and employees. If left untreated, the employee’s condition can worsen, which can affect their productivity, goals, and career.
It is known that one in every five American workers face difficulties in coping with their work and fail to achieve their goals due to poor mental health. Not many know this, but certain mental illnesses are covered in workers’ compensation and you are eligible to claim it if you meet all criteria. However, it depends on the state you live in and the type of injury you suffer from. Here is what you need to know about being compensated at work for mental illnesses.
General Requirements and Criteria
Before you demand a claim for a mental illness, you must revise the criteria that decide whether you are eligible for the compensation or not.
Since most employees fear getting fired or securing financial safety, they play along and succumb to their employer’s requests. However, since many bosses fail to recognize psychological symptoms, employees avoid it too. In extreme cases, physical injuries and pain at work can also result in poor mental health. As soon as these worries pile up, employees get stressed, which can result in anxiety or depression in extreme cases. In some cases, stress and anxiety result in physical issues and medical conditions such as panic attacks, headaches, upper respiratory infections, and migraines. If the employee is able to link such physical illnesses with workplace stress, they are eligible for compensation.
Furthermore, if an employee experiences repetitive traumatic activities that have worsened their condition over a prolonged period, they can file a claim. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employers cannot fire a worker who has recently developed a mental issue, especially due to work pressure. In most cases, an employer has the right to ask the concerned employee to undergo a medical test to prove their condition.
Since establishing an objective standpoint to prove the onset of a mental illness during the course of a worker’s employment is extremely difficult, the responsibility of drawing a visible link falls upon the employee.
Right to Hire an Attorney
If the entire procedure of claiming your compensation seems confusing or overwhelming, you have the right to hire an attorney and accelerate the process. Look for a workers’ compensation attorney in your locality with maximum experience.
If you live in Georgia, you can find several competent lawyers who can help you settle disputes with your employers, gather evidence to strengthen your case, and handle your paperwork. Most Georgia workers compensation attorneys are proficient in handling such cases and help you get your deserved compensation in no time. Even though hiring an attorney will cost you a part of your paycheck, the chances of receiving your compensation also increases by a greater margin. You can take some time off and recover from your illness while your attorney oversees the legal procedure. The investment made in hiring a lawyer is worth the time and effort you save.
Several myths related to mental illnesses circulate in most professional arenas but only a few get it right. It is high time that the myths are busted and employees get their deserved compensation. Most employers fail to recognize mental issues and do not consider them a part of workplace injuries. Even if they do, they are not as significant as physical injuries and are often considered secondary. At times, it also overshadows every employee’s outlook due to which they fail to acknowledge their mental health issue caused due to work pressure.
As an employee, you must understand that mental health is not just a personal issue but can often result due to work pressure and toxic work environments. Whether it’s an unpleasant coworker, a mean boss, or overwhelming deadlines, the deterioration of an employee’s mental health most likely begins at their workplace.
Compensation for mental illness at work is gaining traction due to the increase in work pressure and the rise in competition. As more and more employees are filing for their injury claims, employers are taking a step back and designing achievable targets for their employees. This has not only reduced work stress but also provided employees with a much needed work-life balance. Gone are the days when mental health issues were a stigma. Educate yourself about work injury and mental illness compensation and determine whether you are eligible for the same or not. If you feel stuck, do not hesitate to hire an attorney.