Can I file A Workers’ Compensation Claim Because of PTSD Due To COVID-19?
This article will attempt to explain the current status of PTSD claims in Virginia workers’ compensation cases and speculate whether a valid (compensable) claim solely on PTSD can occur, specifically in the setting of the raise of PTSD claims for healthcare workers. If you are considering filing a workers’ compensation claim because of PTSD related to COVID-19, schedule a free consultation to speak with our attorneys. (540) 384-0348.
While most of us are doing everything we can to stay healthy during the COVID-19 crisis, there are healthcare workers who are putting their mental and physical health at risk daily. Doctors, nurses, and medical technicians are all risking their well-being to treat patients who have COVID-19. Can frontliners who work as medical providers for COVID-19 patients file workers’ compensation claims under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act for PTSD?
What Does Virginia Workers’ Compensation Law Say?
According to the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act as defined by ? 65.2-400 states ?occupational disease? as ?a disease arising out of and in the course of employment, but not an ordinary disease of life which the general public is exposed outside of the employment.? PTSD claims are legitimate when it comes to a frontliner?s exposure to so much trauma. At times, the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission has determined, a physical injury is not required for PTSD to be compensable, however it is very infrequent.
Frontliners? are experiencing unprecedented challenges with the influx of patients, decrease in resources, and watching loved ones die alone have reportedly started suffering from PTSD and depression. Often, deciding how to allocate limited resources, long and demanding hours, staff shortages due to fear of contracting the illness, and lack of adequate protection are all a recipe for a mental health crisis for our healthcare workers.
Although PTSD is not common without coupling a physical injury in Virginia workers’ compensation claims, it is still possible to claim, it will be up to the Workers Compensation Commissioner to determine whether the claim is covered or not. In these unparalleled times, some experts believe the frequency of PTSD and depression may rise due to the demands frontliners? are facing.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
Here at Lugar Law, we have had PTSD cases found to be compensable under the Virginia Workers Compensation Act without a physical injury. Again, this is not a common result, but does occur in extreme situations. Each case is unique with its own special set of facts that will have to be evaluated on its merits. With that being said, there are many reports deeming that PTSD is occurring in healthcare workers, and thus, could assist in supporting this type of Virginia workers’ compensation claim. Should you wish to discuss feel free to reach out to our firm. To schedule a free consultation, you can contact us online or by calling (540) 384-0348. We wish you the best of luck and thank you for your dedication and support.