Can You Receive Workers' Compensation for Depression?
Workplace injuries can happen at any time and take on many forms. They can be the development of an illness, a physical injury, or they can worsen a pre-existing condition. In some cases, Florida workplace injuries can lead to death. Mental trauma is often not thought of when discussing workers’ compensation. But mental pain, like depression, can develop after an accident on the job which injures you and significantly impacts your life.
Florida workers’ compensation is meant to help victims of workplace accidents recover costs for medical treatment and to help with a portion of missed wages. The medical costs that are paid for through the workers’ compensation benefits will be targeted at the treatment that can help a person overcome their physical injuries and get well again. In some cases, the aftermath of a workplace accident can cause mental anguish and depression. The question is, will a Florida workers’ compensation claim cover the cost of treatment for depression?
Will Workers’ Compensation Cover Depression Treatment?
While it is unlikely you are going to be able to have treatment for depression covered just because you feel trapped in your career and are unhappy about it if you had a legitimate accident at work there is the potential depending on the details of your mental stress. When the injuries you sustained results in mental strain, you may have a case. When you have a work-related accident that causes you physical harm and as you go through the process of recovery, your accident injuries also caused you to become depressed it is possible to have your medical care for depression paid for through your Florida workers’ compensation claim.
Under Florida’s workers’ compensation laws, if a work-related injury was at least 50% responsible for the development of your depression you might be able to obtain further coverage for your mental injury. However, proving that your physical injury was at least 50% the cause of your mental injury is not an easy task. If you have a history of suffering from depression, it will be very difficult to make the case that your injury was the cause of your depression. Also, you will not have a case for a valid claim if you suffer depression in the absence of a physical injury.
For life-changing work injuries, when depression is associated, you may have a stronger argument for depression compensation. You will need medical documentation showing your diagnosis by a qualified and licensed psychiatrist. It must be established that it is your injuries that are directly causing your mental anguish and that can be tough to do.
Should you be successful in tying your depression to your injuries and getting compensated for it, there are time limits to how long you can receive benefits. Once you have been deemed to have reached “maximum medical improvement,” or you are done recovering and have healed as much as possible, you may only retain stress benefits for a maximum of six months' time.
Find a Florida Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
If you are enduring mental stress because of your Florida workplace injuries, you may have the potential to be compensated. Call Stephen M. Andrews, a trusted Tallahassee workers’ compensation attorney today at (850) 906-9599 to schedule your free consultation.