Mental health is integral to overall well-being, and its impact on the workplace cannot be overlooked. In this article, we will provide critical insights and information about mental health and workers’ compensation in Ohio.
Feeling overwhelmed and experiencing mental health problems can be caused by the nature of your job or the environment where you work. For example, some jobs like healthcare, law enforcement, and firefighting can be extremely stressful. The stress, anxiety, or depression you may feel could be a result of the demands and pressures associated with your work.
In some cases, a traumatic event at work could lead to a condition called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This can happen to anyone, not just people in high-risk jobs. For instance, if you work as a delivery driver and experience a severe accident while on the job, it could trigger PTSD due to the traumatic experience.
In Ohio, the workers’ compensation program is administered by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC). Primarily, its objective is to provide medical and financial benefits to employees who sustain injuries while performing their duties. This covers physical injuries, conditions, and illnesses and extends to work-related mental health conditions as well.
While the workers’ compensation law in Ohio has specific criteria for mental health conditions to be considered injuries, it does provide opportunities for individuals whose mental health conditions are directly caused by a workplace incident or occupational disease. Claims related to stress and anxiety that develop over time due to work-related pressures may have more stringent requirements for acceptance by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. However, the BWC generally places emphasis on recognizing mental health disorders stemming from one-time traumatic events, as they can be more readily proven to cause evident psychological harm.
Although it can pose a more significant challenge to establish a causal relationship between the work environment or duties and the development of the condition, doing so is crucial to the process of receiving due compensation.
Under Ohio’s workers’ compensation program, mental health compensation may be eligible under certain conditions. The following are some scenarios that qualify:
In determining eligibility for compensation, it is important to follow the same procedure as in the case of a physical injury or disability. Ensure that you seek a medical evaluation, report the incident to your employer, fill out the necessary forms, and gather supporting evidence. After this, submitting a claim to the BWC and cooperating with the investigation is of high importance.
Navigating this complex process while sustaining the injury can place a huge physical and emotional burden on the claimant, so it is advisable to seek legal guidance from an attorney for the most deserved outcomes.