If an Illinois worker suffers injury on the job, he or she may report the incident to his or her employer and file a claim to collect benefits to help pay medical expenses, replace lost wages or help alleviate other costs associated with the injury. It’s common to think of physical workplace injuries, such as burns or broken bones that may be suffered in a sudden accident. There are also occupational injuries, such as repetitive strains that develop over time and can cause partial or full, permanent disabilities.
There is another aspect to this topic, however, involving psychological injuries, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. Those who work in certain civil service industries such as first responders or other rescue missions often witness catastrophic events that can take a heavy toll on their mental health. Another type of cataclysmic incident that may result in PTSD would be working behind the counter in a department store or bank and getting robbed at gunpoint.
It is understandable that workplace incidents exist that may cause extreme levels of stress or shock, thus resulting in PTSD and sometimes causing a worker to be unable to return to his or her duties. The problem is that not every state allows those suffering from PTSD to file claims for benefits. In fact, firefighters in another state have been lobbying for change so that this type of injury will be recognized as compensable.
Illinois law allows workers with PTSD to file benefits claims for workplace injuries. They must first prove that their disorders are connected to singular events and that those events occurred on the job and are deemed to have caused their conditions. Any worker with questions regarding workers’ compensation, including those relating to non-physical injuries, may request a consultation with an experienced workers comp attorney.