Mental work injury or psychiatric/ psychological condition can be covered by Minnesota workers compensation. This may include conditions such as depression, anxiety, or post traumatic stress disorder. There are certain types of mental work injuries which are allowed. If allowed, you can be entitled to workers compensation benefits.
The law differentiates between mental injuries and places them into three categories:
- Mental/Physical – This means the mental work injury causes a physical injury (i.e. heart attacks, ulcers, GERD, etc.).
- Physical/ Mental – This means the physical injury causes the mental injury.
- Mental/ Mental – This means where the mental stimulus causes a mental injury.
In order for a mental/physical injury to be compensable, there must be medical evidence to prove that a physical condition was the result of mental stress. For example, it is important that a medical doctor state that the physical and mental condition are related. Often times we see this in heart attacks, ulcers or work-related GERD. They are more prevalent in occupations such as police officers, EMTs, firefighters, correctional officers, and state patrol.
If a physical injury results in a mental condition, workers’ compensation will be responsible for the mental condition. Even in cases where you have a preexisting mental condition, it can be covered so long as the physical injury aggravated, accelerate or worsened the pre-existing condition. Again, the work injury itself still needs to be a substantial contributing factor or cause to your mental disability.
One of the more controversial and also scrutinized areas in work comp is the area of mental/ mental injuries. This only occurs when there is no physical injury of any type to you. To date, Minnesota does not recognize all types of mental/ mental injuries. At present, the only type would be PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder. However, it cannot be caused by disciplinary action, work evaluation, job transfer, layoff, demotion, promotion, termination, retirement or other similar action. PTSD most all be diagnosed appropriately by a physician.