Jan 28, 2019
Can I Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Stress in GA?
When you think of a
workplace injury, the first thing which comes to mind is a physical injury either caused
by a one-time accident or over a period of time caused by the repetitive
motions of specific job duties. However, mental and psychological injuries
happen all the time, especially stress.
Although some stress on the job is normal, excessive stress can disrupt
work performance and productivity, negatively affect your physical and
emotional health, and even impact your personal life and relationships
with loved ones. According to a report by the National Institute for Occupational
Safety and Health (NIOSH), 40 percent of workers said their job was extremely
The following are the most common types of stress which occur on the job:
- Physical injury in combination with a mental injury
– This situation occurs when a physical injury results in a psychological
issue. For example, an employee sustains a serious injury at the workplace.
After weeks and months, there haven’t been any significant signs
of improvement, which causes the worker to feel discouraged and stressed,
which eventually turns into depression. Thus, the physical injury leads
to the mental one.
- A mental injury caused a physical injury – There are some cases where a worker experiences a mental issue
after witnessing a catastrophic or fatal physical injury. For instance,
a construction worker witnesses another employee get fatally crushed by
falling debris, which leads to being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress
- Direct metal injury – This situation occurs when a worker directly experiences mental
stress caused by work conditions. For example, you are subject to bullying
or harassment by your employer or coworkers, or the type of work you perform
causes immense stress such as an air traffic controller.
Unfortunately, Georgia workers’ compensation laws do not currently
recognize direct stress injuries or mental injuries derives from physical
ones. In order to receive compensation for a mental injury, there needs
to be a discernable physical injury. However, psychological claims are
on the rise in recent years, so it might be only a matter of time before
state law recognizes the agony stress causes to workers.