There is physical health and there is mental health. In the eyes of many, the two are separate and rather distinct, but in recent years, the line has become less bright. Several mental health parity acts have been enacted at the federal level. In each instance, the law requires that insurance plans provide equal coverage for conditions whether they are physical or psychological in nature. Workers’ compensation is included under this umbrella.
Readers of this blog may recall that we wrote about the challenges of pressing a claim for invisible work-related injuries not long ago. Sometimes those injuries are physical – resulting from repetitive stress or work conditions that lead to muscle strains or debilitating joint injuries. Just because they aren’t seen doesn’t make them any less real.
Similarly, physical injuries suffered on the job can trigger mental issues that prevent you from performing your normal tasks. If it can be shown that the emotional distress arose out of a related occupational event, then Georgia law says workers’ compensation is required to provide your mental health treatment also.
Here’s a hypothetical example. Say you are a clerk at a retail store. You suffer an attack by a customer or a robber and suffer physical injuries as a result. Later, you find you are experiencing depression or anxiety about what happened to a point that you are unable to return to work. Because the mental condition stems from the attack, treatment of it should be covered.
Still, denial of these kinds of claims does occur. If you feel that has happened to you, you should consult an skilled attorney. Legal rights may exist, but even then, obtaining all the benefits you are due may require a more experienced hand.