Workers in professions ranging from customer service to medical care have the protection of workers’ compensation coverage in Florida. All employers typically need to participate in the workers’ compensation program to indemnify themselves against liability and provide proper support for their employees after an emergency.
People who break a leg or get diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome typically know right away that they can count on workers’ compensation coverage. However, not all wounds are physical. Something that happened to you at work could leave you traumatized and struggling to cope with the stress of daily life.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSC) can be very difficult to treat and can leave people unable to do their job as they typically would. Can you count on workers’ compensation to cover you when your primary diagnosis is PTSD?
There are two times you may qualify
Florida’s workers’ compensation statutes have long recognized that people could end up coping with psychological trauma because of their job responsibilities. For many years, it has been possible for workers in just about any profession to connect with benefits if they have a physical injury related to the incident that gave them PTSD.
A worker who falls from great heights at a construction site and breaks a bone and then feels panicked whenever they are not on ground level might qualify for coverage based on their PTSD even after their physical injury heals. However, the state had a large gap in its policy because workers can end up traumatized by what they experience or witness at work without suffering an actual physical injury.
Florida state law changed in 2018 and now allows for PTSD-related workers’ compensation benefits for first responders and certain other state employees, like correctional officers.
How benefits can help
For some people with PTSD, extensive therapy will be necessary for them to reduce their symptoms and continue engaging in the basic activities of daily life. For example, someone with PTSD related to a car crash on the job may need counseling so that they feel comfortable driving again in the future.
Workers may also require disability benefits during their convalescence if they cannot work due to the impact of their PTSD. Workers’ compensation can provide both of these forms of benefits, which can help someone until they recover enough to go back to their employment.
Learning more about the Florida rules that determine who receives workers’ compensation benefits will help you evaluate whether you have a viable claim or not.