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Filing a Workers’ Compensations Claim for Stress in California

  • Published: November 17, 2021

Most people experience stress in their job at some point in their employment. For some, though, stress can be so constant and debilitating that it becomes a serious medical condition. Stress is primarily a mental and emotional disorder. Will workers’ compensation in California cover stress?

Workplace Stress Injuries

Workplace stress injuries can be physical, mental, or emotional. Most people are familiar with physical workplace stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, which causes muscle strain. However, mental and emotional injuries are less common.

Emotional stress injuries would be conduct or demands inflicted by your employer or a co-worker that were so unbearable that they exceeded your capacity to cope. Many states do not cover these types of claims under workers’ compensation. However, California mainly covers stress-related injuries under worker’s compensation.

The Workers’ Compensation Act states, “If an employee incurs mental injuries from emotional stimuli or stressors in their workplace,” their injuries may be covered. Mental health injuries that a workers’ comp policy may help protect against include:

  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

At KCNS Law, our lawyers provide legal support to individuals suffering from work-related emotional and mental issues such as job-related stress and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

How to Prove Workplace Stress

Emotional stress injuries are challenging to prove because they cannot be seen and are hard to diagnose. For your stress-related injuries to qualify as “work-related stress” and entitle you to workers’ compensation benefits, you must:

Make a successful case for mental or emotional workers’ compensation claims by proving that employment conditions were extraordinary and unusual compared to the standard conditions of employment. Stress caused by routine work events like evaluations, transfers, demotions, or long hours would not qualify. The employee must be so mentally or emotionally stressed from an extraordinary or unusual event or incident on the job that they cannot function normally. Examples of instances that might qualify would be:

  • An act of violence in the workplace
  • A significant incident where your physical well-being was threatened

Have a diagnosis documented by an authorized medical provider, and you must agree that you need treatment. Your employer must have employed you for at least six months.

You must follow specific steps to file your workers’ compensation claim, such as:

  1. Notifying your employer about your injuries within 30 days of the work-related accident or incident.
  2. Receiving a list of approved healthcare providers from your employer.
  3. Getting medical attention for your injuries from a doctor on the employer-provided list.
  4. Filing a workers’ compensation claim within 90 days of your accident or when you learned of your workplace injury.

If you sustain an injury at work, interpreting California workers’ compensation laws can be complicated. If you suffer from job-related stress that keeps you out of work, you should consult our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers.

Types of Benefits You Can Receive

The benefits available for psychiatric or emotional injury through workers’ comp in California can cover medical expenses for treatment and lost wages from time off work due to a work-related injury. However, it would be difficult to get permanent disability benefits.

KCNS Law firm can help you file for workers’ compensation or appeal an unsatisfactory decision about your claim.

When to Talk to a California Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Consulting an experienced California Workers’ Compensation Lawyer, such as those at KCNS Law, can be a wise decision in the following instances:

  • You do not know whether your case will qualify for workers’ compensation.
  • You need help navigating the complex filing requirements for workers’ compensation.
  • Your Employer and Insurance Company challenge your claim.

California Workers’ Compensation laws and filing requirements can be challenging for those not experienced in dealing with them. KCNS Law specializes in Workers’ Compensation. Employers and insurance companies might seek to reduce their liability and the money they must pay by finding ways to get the claim thrown out or reduced.

You may need help getting all the benefits to which you are entitled. Our lawyers know the California workers’ compensation system. KCNS Law firm has fought for injured workers in California for years. To speak with a knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer, schedule a free consultation by calling (818) 937-9255 or completing a contact form.

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