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Work Factors That Cause Mental Illness

Posted on in BGL Law
Work Factors That Cause Mental IllnessMental health injuries resulting from work are more difficult to identify than physical injuries, but that does not make them any less debilitating. Mental illness can prevent you from focusing on work and handling the stresses that come with your job. In order to treat the illness, you need time off from work and therapy from a mental health professional. Whether your job-related injuries are mental or physical, you can be entitled to workers' compensation benefits to pay for medical expenses and lost wages. Your employer and its insurer are likely to fight you on a physical injury claim. Mental illness claims are met with even more skepticism because:

  • Unlike a physical injury, a mental illness may not have visible symptoms;
  • A societal prejudice persists against people with mental illnesses;
  • The workplace factors that create mental illness can be difficult to identify; and
  • An insurer may question why other employees working in the same environment are not filing mental illness claims.

To receive workers' compensation benefits for a mental illness, you must prove how your job caused psychological damage and why you were uniquely affected. There are several job-related factors that can lead to a mental illness:

  1. Traumatic Event: A person who witnesses a violent or disturbing event while working may suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or other illnesses. This most commonly occurs with first responders to emergency situations but is possible at any job. Traumatic events are helpful evidence when filing a workers' compensation claim because you can point to a specific instance that caused your illness.
  2. Demanding Job: Stress is a common workplace problem that can cause depression, anxiety and emotional breakdowns. Because of its commonality, citing stress may not be enough to receive workers' compensation benefits. You need to explain how your job is uniquely stressful as compared to other jobs or your fellow employees. For instance, your employer may be excessively demanding or hold you to unfair standards as compared to your coworkers.
  3. Workplace Harassment: It may not be a single event, but continued harassment at your job can chip away at your mental health. Your coworkers or your supervisors may act abusively or discriminate against you. If this behavior continues despite your reasonable efforts to stop it, you may be entitled to compensation for expenses related to your mental suffering.

Mental Health Claims

If you are experiencing mental illness due to your job, there are two professionals you should seek help from: a mental health practitioner and a workers' compensation lawyer. A McHenry County workers' compensation attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can present your case for receiving benefits as a result of your mental anguish. To schedule a free consultation, call 815-338-3838.



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