Michigan lawyer explains how a diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) should be covered under workers’ comp if related to employment activities.
Mental health is an important issue that does not get much attention in workers’ comp. We see people struggling every day from the demands of their jobs. Some have trouble coping with life after a traumatic event or trauma. This shows up in conflicts with friends, family, and co-workers. Many of these employees refuse to get help because of the stigma attached to mental illness and/or fear of losing their job. Here is some information about PTSD workers’ comp claims in Michigan to know about.
PTSD can occur after any perceived traumatic event. Individuals suffering from PTSD are diagnosed by a medical professional. Symptoms include feeling upset, anxious, jittery, numb, losing interest in activities, and avoiding situations. Some people have vivid memories, nightmares, flashbacks, and panic attacks. PTSD can change behavior and lead to drug or alcohol abuse. Relationships with friends and family members can be impacted. PTSD is usually treated with medication and counseling.
Is PTSD Covered Under Workers’ Comp?
In Michigan, PTSD workers’ comp claims are covered for employees when they suffer from this disorder due to work related activities. All medical treatment is covered 100% without any co-payments or deductibles being owed. This includes prescription medications and therapy if needed.
Employees can also collect lost wages. The amount paid should equal 80% of their after-tax average weekly wage. A good rule of thumb is to estimate about 60% of gross wages is owed subject to a state-wide weekly maximum. This money is income tax free
Common PTSD Workers’ Comp Claims
Some jobs are particularly dangerous and/or involve witnessing horrific events. This includes police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians (ETMs). Any high stress job can put employees at risk of developing PTSD.
It is also common for employees who suffer from workplace accidents to develop PTSD. This is especially true for employees who suffer from an amputation of a body part. Going back to operating a machine or even just entering the factory can bring on signs and symptoms of PTSD.
Some of our clients experience terrible events in their everyday jobs. They witness gruesome accidents, illness, and death. Doctors and nurses are especially vulnerable. We are seeing this first-hand with a recent influx of front-line responders who developed PTSD after treating Covid-19 patients.
Getting robbed or assaulted on-the-job is another life event that can lead to PTSD. Having to return to a store location and face similar danger is just too much.
Insurance Company/Employer Disputes
PTSD does not show up on an x-ray or MRI scan. There is no magic test to prove or disprove what an employee is feeling. A mental health professional will take a history, ask about symptoms, and make a diagnosis if appropriate.
Insurance companies do not want to take responsibility for mental health claims because of the potential amount of money that must be paid out. It is also common for employers to refuse even making the PTSD workers’ comp claim in Michigan. Do not suffer in silence. If you are suffering from this disorder due to work related activities contact an experienced Michigan workers’ comp lawyer if your benefits have been denied.
Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (844) 316-8033 for a free consultation today.
Related information:Mental Illness