Did you know that most Americans suffer work-related stress? Over 80% of U.S. citizens say their jobs cause major stress, and one in four say that work is the primary stressor in their lives. Unfortunately, this sometimes goes beyond typical, everyday stress.

In fact, people have developed mental health conditions due to issues experienced during the course of employment. If this applies to you, you may be wondering whether you can get workers’ compensation for anxiety. This guide will help you understand.

Can Anxiety Be a Work-Related Condition?

A work-related injury or condition is any harm suffered that’s directly related to your job. This is also true for injuries and conditions that are worsened due to workplace experiences. By this definition, it’s very clear that anxiety can qualify as a work-related condition. Perhaps you spend all day being screamed at by customers, or maybe you’re in a high-risk position (e.g., commercial fisher, construction worker) that constantly carries the risk of danger.

The Mayo Clinic lists various reasons that anxiety disorders may arise. Perhaps the most pertinent issue for work-related conditions, however, is the buildup of stress due to a significant event or several smaller stressful events. In fact, the Mayo Clinic directly references work stress as a cause of anxiety. To put it simply, medical professionals agree that anxiety may be a work-related health condition — but does it make you eligible for workers’ compensation?

Will Workers’ Compensation Cover Anxiety or Other Mental Health Issues?

Workers’ compensation is meant to financially assist any individual harmed during the court of employment. It’s a no-fault benefit meant to minimize potential personal injury litigation, so it’s recoverable regardless of who’s at fault. If you’re suffering anxiety related to your employment, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Anxiety and other mental health conditions are covered, but there may be some hurdles during the process.

The problem you may encounter is proving that your anxiety is both disabling and related to your job. Your employer may try to claim that you had anxiety prior to being hired, but in many cases, this will not matter if your condition worsened due to on-the-job stressors. Unfortunately, mental health conditions aren’t as visually obvious as a broken bone or significant laceration. Since anxiety is covered under workers’ comp, though, all you need is sufficient proof.

What Should You Do to Receive Anxiety Workers’ Comp Benefits?

If you’re unable to work due to employment-related anxiety, you need to alert your employer of the issue. You must also be specific that your condition is job-related — otherwise, the company may not realize they need to initiate the workers’ compensation process. After you report your condition, your employer must file a First Report of Occupational Injury or Disease within 10 days. They must also provide you with a copy.

After you report your injury, the company has 15 days to let you know whether you’ll receive workers’ compensation benefits. If denied — which is common with mental health conditions — you must file an appeal. In Delaware, you have two years to do this at the Office of Workers’ Compensation. While not required, a workers’ comp attorney can prove invaluable during the process. Contact our law firm today for a free consultation and to learn how we can help.