Does Workers Compensation in Oakland, CA Cover Mental Illness?
In regular discourse, workplace injuries are often seen from the standpoint of physical injuries. Workers usually seek compensation for injuries that are clearly visible. But can one seek compensation for mental illness that can be directly linked to the workplace? Most workers and even employers have a vague idea when it comes to eligibility for compensation in case of mental illness. It can be extremely challenging to attribute one’s medical or emotional illness to the environment, incidents, and circumstances at the workplace.
Most workers aren’t likely to claim workers’ compensation in Oakland, CA for mental illness. After all, most of us don’t see it is a workplace issue. But working in a stressful environment or being witness to a tragic accident at the workplace can lead to mental illness. Can such conditions be dismissed as workplace injuries? The answer is ‘No’, and neither does the law states so. California is one of the few states in the country that covers mental illness under its Workers’ Compensation Law. If you or any of your colleagues have suffered mental or emotional injuries that can be directly attributed to the workplace, you are well within your rights to claim compensation.
Filing Claim for Mental Illness
Though you are eligible to file a compensation claim for mental illness, it is easier said than done. In fact, claiming compensation for physical injuries is way easier when compared to that in case of mental illness. However, this shouldn’t discourage you and there are several instances of workers having successfully earned their due compensation.
The biggest challenge claiming compensation is attributing your psychiatric injury to your workplace conditions and events. The symptoms of mental illness vary from one person to another, and even those symptoms aren’t clearly visible. Thus, your attorney would have to zealously fight your case. To receive compensation for workplace induced mental illness you will need to meet one of the following conditions –
- Your mental illness should be diagnosed and certified by a licensed medical professional. Mere claims or mental illness or emotional stress won’t result in earning compensation.
- Your mental illness has to be attributed to your workplace conditions or an event, and this should be the predominant cause of the condition.
- Your mental condition should require medical treatment or it should have led to a disability for you to become eligible for compensation.
- In normal circumstances, you should have a minimum of 6 months of employment with the employer to become eligible for compensation. However, there are exceptions and mental illness due to an accident or violence at the workplace is eligible for compensation.
Compensation You Can Claim
As is the case with other workers’ compensation claims you are entitled to several benefits for mental illness arising out in the workplace. These include –
- Compensation for treatment which includes all mental illness-related medical bills
- Coverage for any therapy or counseling you need to undergo
- Wage loss benefits if you require an extended leave
- Disability benefits for short and long-term disability
Claiming worker’s compensation in Oakland, CA for mental illness is challenging as there is so much skepticism around such illnesses. As you are aware insurers try every trick in the book to turn down claims or keep compensation amount at a bare minimum. In case of mental illness where symptoms aren’t clearly defined, it becomes easier for them to turn down your claim. Hence, it is important for you to get in touch with an attorney who has successfully filed claims for workers’ compensation in Oakland, CA for mental illness. Do your background research on the attorney, and you will brighten your prospects of receiving the maximum possible compensation you are entitled to.