Workers’ compensation insurance exists to help employers and employees when employees sustain injuries or become ill at or because of work. However, physical problems are not the only ones that plague workers.
Mental health is an increasingly worrying concern in workplaces. However, Ohio laws around workers’ compensation when it comes to such problems can be complex.
There must be a link to a physical hurt
Workers’ compensation generally covers physical injuries or illnesses that arise in the course of employment, meaning they occur in the workplace or as a result of work duties. It also covers mental illnesses, such as depression and anxiety, that occur as a result of a workplace injury or illness that qualifies an employee for benefits. For instance, if during the treatment process, the injury caused a worker to develop anxiety, he or she might qualify for additional benefits to deal with it. However, workers’ compensation does not cover any mental illnesses arising from the workplace that do not correlate to a physical issue.
There must be proof
Workers must establish a clear link between their condition and the workplace injury or illness. An example of such a connection would be if the time needed to recover or the pain of the injury caused depression. Generally, there needs to be a diagnosis and documentation from a medical professional showing that the injury or illness led to the mental illness.
According to the American Psychological Association, adults experienced a rise in mental health diagnoses between 2019 and 2023, with those aged 35 to 44 seeing a 14% increase. Mental health problems can arise because of workplace conditions or incidents, but workers’ compensation will not cover them unless they are the result of a qualifying physical workplace injury or ailment.