PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, can result in serious, sometimes debilitating symptoms, such as flashbacks, anxiety, irritability, nightmares, and depression. Symptoms like these can certainly interfere with your ability to work, and at times they result from situations at work.
Members of the armed services aren’t the only ones who may develop PTSD as a result of their work. People who work as police officers, firefighters, EMT responders, construction workers and even teachers can experience PTSD as a result of witnessing traumatic events. The question is, can they collect workers’ compensation if they have PTSD as a result of their job?
PTSD and Workers’ Compensation
Proving PTSD can be difficult since many insurers tend to be skeptical of mental-mental claims. It can be particularly difficult in Arizona. However, those who are experiencing PTSD symptoms as a result of witnessing an abnormal situation at work will have a better case. For example, construction workers who saw a co-worker injured or killed, or police officers who were at the scene of a particularly disturbing crime.
Receiving consistent treatment from a mental health specialist who documents your symptoms and can provide a professional opinion will help. If your claim is accepted, workers’ comp will depend on whether your disability is partial or total.
Arizona Workers’ Compensation for PTSD
In Arizona, a bill expanding workers’ comp was only recently passed that would expand benefits for police officers suffering from PTSD. The bill came about as a result of an officer who had committed suicide following the loss of his job for a misdemeanor DUI. He had developed a drinking problem to cope with PTSD stemming from his involvement in a fatal on-duty shooting.
Even though PTSD can be covered by worker’s comp, it can be difficult to prove the condition. For help with your claim, contact us at Schiffman Law Office for a free case evaluation today.