Can You File a Workers’ Compensation Claim for Stress? Our Charleston, SC Attorneys Weigh In

When you think of a workplace injury, you often think of a sprained ankle from a slip and fall or pulling a muscle from lifting something too heavy. However, workplace injuries include both the physical effects on your body and the mental distress on your brain. 

Stress is a common issue in the workforce, with overwork and pressure taking its psychological toll on employees. But when does it move past the point of common work-related stress to a workers’ compensation claim? 

Keep reading as our workers’ compensation lawyers in South Carolina weigh in on how to file a claim for emotional injuries in the workplace. 

woman with chronic workplace stress

Can I Receive Compensation for Stress? 

An unexpected slip and fall injury at work can result in extensive medical bills and lost wages as you focus on recovery. But what happens when your injury isn’t visible on scans or tests? 

Obtaining workers’ compensation benefits for a mental health injury can be challenging, but not impossible! There are three categories of workers’ compensation claims related to mental health: physical-mental, mental-physical, and mental-mental. 

Physical-Mental Claims 

A physical-mental claim is when a mental disorder develops as the result of a physical injury that may or may not continue to require medical treatment. For example, an employee could be diagnosed with depression after suffering a back injury that has now caused limited mobility. 

Mental-Physical Claims

A mental-physical claim is when an employee suffers a physical injury due to a diagnosed work-related mental health disorder or illness. This claim may be valid, for example, if an employee witnessed a traumatic event and had a subsequent heart attack. This type of claim may also apply if occupational stress leads to the development of ulcers or a stroke. 

Mental-Mental Claims 

These claims may be filed if your work environment negatively impacts your mental health. When the levels of stress in the workplace go above what many would consider “normal” working conditions, you may develop serious emotional distress or illness and be able to file a workers’ compensation mental-mental claim. 

Emotional injury claims are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Since there is no “one-size-fits-all” statute for workers’ comp emotional distress claims, it helps to have one of our workers’ compensation attorneys at Hoffman Law Firm help you navigate the process. 

Are Stress and Anxiety Covered Under Workers’ Compensation? 

Emotional injuries can be difficult to claim and even more difficult to prove. Each state has specific laws regarding workers’ compensation benefits and emotional injuries. 

Under South Carolina law, you can collect workers’ comp benefits for mental health injuries regardless of whether a physical injury was present. SC workers’ compensation law requires that you meet the following criteria to file a mental health claim: 

  • Injury must fall under one of the three categories listed above.
  • You must prove that workplace conditions causing the stress were abnormal to average working conditions.
  • Emotional injuries cannot result from standard personnel actions, such as being fired, laid off, demoted, transferred, or disciplined. 

Mental health injuries that a workers’ comp policy may cover include stress, clinical depression, anxiety disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

How Do You Prove Work-Related Stress? 

Proving that your stress or mental health illness is a direct result of your employment can be overwhelming and challenging to tackle on your own. The first step is to consult a workers’ compensation attorney at Hoffman Law Firm. 

Our lawyers are experienced in workers’ comp claims, helping you navigate the legal proceedings without taking a further toll on your mental health.

Once we’ve determined that your case qualifies, our team will help you document specific events, people, or activities at your job that have led to your stress and guide you in the claim process. 

Further conversations with your manager or human resources department will be documented, along with any professional medical treatment you have undergone for your work-related stress. 

Contact a South Carolina Workers’ Comp Lawyer at Hoffman Law Firm Today 

After your 9-to-5 is complete, the last thing you want to handle in your 5-to-9 is undue stress or mental health concerns from workplace conditions. Your free time should be spent doing what you love–not suffering from emotional distress. 

At Hoffman Law Firm, our workers’ comp lawyers near you believe that you deserve to be compensated, even if your injuries are more than skin deep. 

Located in Charleston, SC, our team has extensive experience handling a wide variety of cases.

Plus, you only pay us if we win your case.

We have established a reputation for success, as well as great service! To meet with a member of our team, contact Hoffman Law Firm today.

Our personal injury law firm offers trusted legal representation right here in the Lowcountry, including these practice areas: 

Workers’ Comp

Slip and Fall

Wrongful Death

Longshoreman Accident

Brain Injury

Spinal Cord Injury

View All Practice Areas

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