Mental Injury Benefits from Workers’ Compensation

Although all workers’ compensation benefits require that the injury occur during the course of employment, injuries do not necessarily have to be physical in order to be compensable. Benefits can also be temporary or permanent, depending on the severity of the injury.

Workers’ compensation benefits used to require a physical element in order to be compensable, but mental injuries can potentially entitle injured employees to benefits as well. Often, while there doesn’t necessarily have to be a physical injury that occurs concurrently with the mental injury, there is typically a minimum requirement of some sort of contact.

Workers’ compensation benefits can be available in instances of extreme workplace stress. However, in order to be compensable, the stress must be so extreme that it goes beyond the ordinary day-to-day stress that employees are typically exposed to. Additionally, there must be a connection between the stress and the alleged injury.

However, it is important to note, and the Massachusetts courts continually reaffirm, that in order to be eligible to receive compensation for a mental injury, one must suffer the psychological harm contemporaneously with a physical injury, or the mental injury must manifest at the time of the incident. In other words, a psychological issue that develops at a later time will not be compensable under the workers’ compensation scheme.

One uncommon, but illustrative, example is of a U.S. women’s soccer team goalie. She suffered a head injury when a player accidentally slammed into her head with a knee. In addition to suffering a lasting concussion, she also suffered damage to her occipital nerve, which led to extensive mental damage for her for a prolonged period of time.

Work-related injuries include any type of accident that occurs in the workplace or within the course of employment. They can also include illnesses that result from exposure to harmful substances or hazardous situations. If a pre-existing condition is aggravated by a work-related injury or illness, the employee may also be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits.

This system provides coverage for losses related to your work injury. Benefits include compensation for reasonable medical expenses, a percentage of your lost wages, certain dependant benefits, and possible retraining. The amount and duration of what you receive will depend on the severity of your harm. Each year, however, the state sets a maximum dollar amount that a person can receive.

If you get injured on the job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for your injuries and lost wages. The experienced Massachusetts workers’ compensation lawyers at Pulgini & Norton offer comprehensive guidance and representation in these matters. We can assist you throughout the entire workers’ compensation claim process. Call our office today at (781) 843-2200, or you can contact us online in order to schedule an initial consultation.

More Blog Posts:

Massachusetts Appeals Court Denies Psychiatric Workers’ Compensation Claim, Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog, published June 5, 2015

Massachusetts Legislature Considers Change to Workers’ Compensation, Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog, published May 27, 2015

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