Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has garnered many headlines recently, with plenty of incidents occurring in the workplace. Between 7 and 8 percent of people suffer through PTSD at least once in their lives, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Certainly, military members and their families are most frequently affected by this issue. However, it can occur in other professions, as well, including law enforcement and first responders.
In the unfortunate event that you have suffered PTSD on the job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
Am I Eligible for Workers’ Compensation for PTSD?
If you are a federal employee, such as a military member, you could be eligible for PTSD-related workers’ compensation benefits under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA). There is clear case law established that PTSD and other mental injuries are covered under this law. However, military workers’ compensation claims are still notoriously complex. Victims should consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible after an accident.
For employees of private firms or the state of Florida, recovering workers’ compensation benefits for PTSD can be much more difficult. Insurance companies may challenge your PTSD-related workers’ compensation claim. However, recovery is still possible. In fact, in the 2015 case of CVS Caremark Corp. v. McIntosh, a Florida appeals court granted a woman total disability benefits in relation to her PTSD diagnosis.
How Do I File for Workers’ Compensation?
Filing for workers’ compensation in Florida can be a confusing and frustrating process. It is very common to feel overwhelmed and in need of help, particularly if you have recently suffered through a traumatic accident.
Here are the first three steps you should take after suffering a workplace injury:
- See a doctor: PTSD is a very serious condition. It requires immediate medical attention. First and foremost, this is important for your own health and safety. Additionally, it is necessary because you will need official medical documentation as evidence for your future workers’ compensation claim.
- Report your injury: You must report your injuries to your employer within 30 days of discovery. This can be more challenging in PTSD cases because it can be difficult to immediately recognize the injury. Often, PTSD has a delayed onset. Still, if you fail to report your injuries to your supervisor, you could harm your claim. As soon as you recognize a problem, tell your employer.
- Contact an attorney: Finally, there is no need to go through this process alone. You should speak to an experienced West Palm Beach workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. PTSD cases are complicated, and your attorney can help you through the difficult claims process.
Contact Our Experienced Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Today
At Rosenthal, Levy Simon & Ryles, we have extensive experience handling a wide variety of workers’ compensation cases. If you have suffered PTSD or any other type of psychological injury on the job, please contact our office today to schedule your free initial legal consultation.
We have offices in West Palm Beach and Port St. Lucie, and we represent work injury victims throughout South Florida.