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Workers’ Compensation for Mental Health Injuries and PTSD

Posted by Liz Delsa | Jul 25, 2023 | 0 Comments

We're often asked whether Louisiana workers' compensation laws cover work-related mental health or PTSD injuries. The answer is a bit complicated because the law in Louisiana distinguishes between whether the mental injury is associated with a physical injury or not.

Mental Injuries in Louisiana Workers' Compensation Law

Louisiana workers' compensation law distinguishes between two types of work-related “mental injuries.” The first is a “mental injury caused by mental stress.” This is a mental injury that results “from work-related stress.” In most cases, this type is not covered by workers' compensation insurance. So, for example, if your day-to-day job is stressful and you develop mental health issues that you believe are related to the work, you will not be entitled to workers' compensation benefits under the Louisiana Workers' Compensation Act, including the cost of treatment related to those issues.

In order for a mental/mental disability claim to be compensable, the mental injury must be caused by “sudden, unexpected, and extraordinary stress related to” the job. So, for example, if you are at work and are unfortunate enough to experience a catastrophic event such as a factory explosion without physically being injured, you may be entitled workers' compensation benefits just as it would if you had suffered physical injuries.

That leads to the second type of mental health injury: one that is “caused by a physical injury” suffered in the workplace. An example of this might be mental health issues that arise while recovering from a serious work-related injury or illness, particularly if it's a life-changing illness or injury. Worker's

compensation law does cover treatment for this kind of mental injury if the injury is properly diagnosed.

Proving a Mental Injury

With either type of mental injury, Louisiana law requires a diagnosis by a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist as per the criteria set out in the current diagnostic guidelines of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders presented by the American Psychiatric Association. Furthermore, it must be established that the mental injury was caused by either the mental stress or physical injury by clear and convincing evidence. “Clear and convincing” means the evidence is highly and substantially more likely to be true than untrue.

The Delsa Law Firm, LLC, Can Help

Mental health injuries are often more challenging to qualify for workers' compensation benefits in Louisiana. If you suffer from mental health issues, including PTSD, that you believe may entitle you to workers' compensation coverage, contact the Delsa Law Firm, LLC, to learn more. Attorney Delsa has been helping Louisiana workers protect their rights to workers' compensation benefits for years. He understands the rules, regulations, and procedures relating to Louisiana workers' compensation benefits claims. He can help you understand whether your situation may entitle you to receive benefits to help you recover from your workplace injury-related mental health issues. Contact Delsa Law Firm, LLC, today at (985) 882-1222, or reach out online to set up a confidential consultation about your situation.

The Delsa Law Firm, LLC, is conveniently located in Slidell, near the intersection of Interstates 10, 12, and 59.

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