Workers’ Compensation and Mental Health Claims: What You Need to Know


Workers’ compensation claims traditionally bring to mind physical injuries. However, the stresses and demands of the workplace can also lead to mental health conditions, which are equally detrimental to an employee’s wellbeing and capacity to work. In California, the workers’ compensation system recognizes these psychological injuries, but navigating mental health claims can be complex.

Recognizing Mental Health in Workers’ Compensation

Under California law, employees may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for psychiatric injuries. These can include conditions like anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) resulting from work-related stress or a traumatic event at work.

The Challenges of Mental Health Claims

While California law permits mental health claims, proving them can be challenging. Unlike physical injuries, psychological conditions are less visible and more subjective, making them harder to measure.

To qualify for workers’ compensation, employees must demonstrate that their employment was a substantial cause—accounting for at least 35-40%—of their psychiatric condition. Furthermore, they are usually only eligible to make a claim if they have been employed for at least six months, unless the mental condition is a result of a sudden, extraordinary employment condition.

Legal Changes Benefiting First Responders

Recent amendments to California’s workers’ compensation law have recognized the unique stressors faced by first responders. Under the new laws, certain peace officers, firefighters, and other first responders are presumed to have their PTSD or other mental health conditions caused by their employment, making it easier for them to file successful claims.

The Importance of Legal Assistance

Given the intricacies of mental health claims, it’s vital for employees to seek legal counsel when pursuing such a claim. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can guide employees through the process, helping them gather the necessary medical evidence and navigate the legal challenges.

Trust the Expertise of the Law Offices of Kropach & Kropach

If you’re considering filing a mental health workers’ compensation claim, the Law Offices of Kropach & Kropach can provide the expert guidance you need. We understand the complexities of mental health claims and are committed to advocating for workers’ rights in these often-misunderstood cases.

Don’t let the unseen injuries of mental health conditions go unaddressed. Let us help you navigate the legal landscape and seek the compensation you deserve. Reach out to us at the Law Offices of Kropach & Kropach at 818-609-7005, or send us an email here. We’re here to ensure your voice is heard and your rights are protected

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