The Impact of Mental Health on Workers’ Compensation Claims

Mental Health on Workers

When you get hurt at work, it’s easy to show you have a physical injury. But often, those wounds cut much deeper and impact your mental health.

Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders accompanying physical workplace injuries in every industry. An alarming 25 to 45% of workers injured on the job develop depression symptoms following their injuries. Mental health issues for injured employees can make it even more difficult to recover from physical injuries.

Since mental health is a major pillar of overall wellness, it stands to reason that it should be included in coverage for workers’ compensation. If it is excluded from your recovery, it can have a massive impact, directly affecting your job performance.

Mental Health Problems After a Workplace Injury

The construction industry is plagued with higher suicide rates, attributed to the stigma of seeking mental health treatments. Most construction workers will also suffer large wage losses if they are out of work due to an injury.

Regardless of the industry you’re in, being injured at work can impact your mental health. The injury you sustain can trigger all sorts of mental health woes. For example, the injury may have been traumatic, like a serious car or machinery accident. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) commonly affects those in these scenarios.

Even if your workplace accident wasn’t dreadful, being out of work can cause you significant stress. Coupled with trying to cope with a new permanent disability, it can only make things worse.

What to Know About Mental Health and Workers’ Comp

Under Georgia law, you must have a physical injury if you seek mental health treatment for your workplace injury. You can’t file a workers’ compensation claim if you are only suffering emotionally, no matter how severe the psychiatric problem may be.

However, even if you report a psychological issue related to your physical injury, insurance companies are often hesitant and unwilling to give you the mental health treatment you need. They will question whether or not mental health treatments are necessary. They might also try to claim your mental health is not related to your workplace accident.

How a Workers’ Comp Lawyer Can Help with Mental Health Treatment

It’s frustrating enough to deal with physical injuries. When your mental wellness is impacted, it makes more sense to have a workers’ compensation attorney handle the claim. They will help by documenting the referral from your authorized physician to obtain mental health treatment.

You can also take this step on your own, but be advised that the insurance company may still refuse to provide your mental health treatment even with a direct referral in hand. It’s certainly more stress you don’t need while trying to get well.

If you are unable to obtain the mental health treatment you need to recover from your work injury, go now to a workers’ compensation attorney to discuss your case.