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When Is PTSD Covered by Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation laws and regulations provide some of the most important legal protections available. Since most adults spend much of their waking time at work, workplace protections are key to ensuring fairness, good quality of life, proper compensation, and justice in the event of a harmful workplace incident.

With that in mind, one of the most common questions surrounding workers’ comp in Ohio is: “When is PTSD covered by workers’ compensation?”

Defining Circumstances Surrounding PTSD and Successful Workers’ Compensation Claims

In the last several years, a handful of U.S. states have begun to grapple with the fact that physical injuries and illnesses are not the only harmful effects employees can experience from their workplaces. There are also mental and emotional injuries that can result from work.

Ohio is one of the states leading the charge on shifting workers’ compensation laws to include compensation protections for mental injuries one might sustain while on the clock. For example, Ohio passed House Bill 80, which expands worker protections for first responders who experience PTSD as a result of their work. Quoting the text of the bill:[1]

  • “[It] makes a peace officer, firefighter, or emergency medical worker who is diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) eligible to receive compensation and benefits under Ohio’s Workers’ Compensation Law, regardless of whether the person suffers an accompanying physical injury.”

That is a crucial shift in the right direction, as most states still don’t recognize the mental trauma suffered at the workplace as a legitimate injury worthy of workers’ compensation.

And what about everyone else? For workers who do not work in first responder trades, Ohio law still provides workers’ compensation protections for workers who have PTSD. However, there is a caveat. Such workers can only apply for compensation for the PTSD if the PTSD has been clinically diagnosed and if a physician determines the PTSD resulted from a physical injury sustained at work.

Looking to the future, it is hoped that Ohio will pass similar laws protecting all workers as it did for first responders.

Seek Help from the Industry Experts

The attorneys at NRS Injury Law pride themselves in comprising Ohio’s largest workers’ compensation law firm. The leading experts in anything and everything having to do with Ohio workers’ comp, these industry professionals stand by to answer your questions. To learn more about PTSD and workers’ comp, contact NRS Injury Law at 855.468.4878, or fill out our convenient contact form.

Sources:

[1] OLSC. “House Bill 80 —133rd General Assembly.” Ohio Legislative Service Commission, 2021. lsc.ohio.gov

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