Maryland Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Mental Health ConditionsSeptember 8, 2023
Workers’ compensation benefits are intended to protect you when you have suffered a work-related injury. It is possible to qualify for Workers’ Compensation when you have a psychological injury related to your work. However, psychological injuries are more subjective.
Some occupations are far more stressful than others. For example, first responders are working under a crushing toll. You may be working long hours under a tremendous amount of pressure. After a certain amount of time, anxiety and worry can overcome you. The psychological condition could be work-related because you developed the illness because of your job. Alternatively, you may have had a single traumatic event, such as witnessing a co-worker be seriously injured or killed because of a workplace accident.
Here are some potential injuries that you can suffer at work that are related to your psychological conditions:
- You could suffer a mental health condition resulting from a physical injury you initially suffered.
- You suffer a physical injury resulting from the psychological injury you initially suffered.
- You could develop PTSD after an initial psychological shock on the job.
Insurance Companies Often Deny “Subjective” Injury Claims
Typically, it is much more likely that insurance companies would approve a claim for a physical injury. They know there was an accident, and you would now have a physical injury. However, an insurance company is likelier to deny a more subjective claim. They are not likely to take your word for it in a claim of a subjective nature.
Even if you can show you suffer from severe anxiety or depression, the insurance company may claim it was a pre-existing condition. Alternatively, they may say your condition was not tied to your work. There are many ways that the insurance company could make your claim more complicated.
Document Your Claim Before Filing
You need to have a meticulously documented file. The first requirement is that you must have worked for your employer for a minimum of six months. Otherwise, believing your psychological condition was work-related would be more difficult.
Then, you should have received extensive treatment from mental health professionals. You should have sought therapy and tried medication to control your condition. You must have a track record of sticking with your treatment and following the treatment recommendations of your providers.
You Can Appeal if Your Claim Has Been Denied
If the insurance company denies your claim, you still have the right to appeal. An administrative law judge with the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission would hear the evidence and determine whether you are eligible for benefits. In the meantime, you may settle with the insurance company. Many denials eventually result in a settlement because neither party wants to bear the risk of a hearing.
When you are filing a claim for something that may seem less objective, you should anticipate that you may have a more difficult time. You should consider hiring a lawyer at the very beginning instead of retaining one after the insurance company denies your claim.
Get Help from a Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyer at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Today
If your Workers’ Compensation claim has been denied, contact a Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyer at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. You can discuss your case by scheduling a free initial consultation. Call us at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
We have offices in Baltimore, Glen Burnie, Lanham, and Owings Mills, allowing us to represent clients in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.