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Workers' compensation for illness caused by job stress

Nearly everyone who is employed experiences stress at some point while fulfilling their responsibilities. Stress is a common complaint amongst workers, but the individual nature in which each person experiences and copes with stress makes it a challenging workplace condition to diagnose. However, the fact remains, stress takes its toll on a person's emotional condition, their mental health and also their physical health.

Perhaps you've had a moment in the office where you felt completely overwhelmed. You had a lot on your plate and it all had to be completed yesterday. This could be momentary stress for you, that passes as you complete the tasks at hand and continue on with your day. For another person, it could induce a panic attack. Another person may suffer from insomnia at night because of their stress at work. And yet another individual may suffer from physical conditions, such as headaches, nausea or vomiting.

Can you receive workers' compensation benefits for your stress-related illness?

Workers' compensation for job-related stress is available in some states, including Colorado under certain conditions. Here's what you need to know about filing for workers' compensation for stress-related illness and injury as a result of workplace conditions:

  • It is more difficult to prove the need for workers' compensation for job stress. This is because stress-related injuries and illnesses are not as visible as physical injuries or illness that result from workplace conditions. According to the American Bar Association, it can actually be very stressful for employees to try to prove these claims, which can exacerbate the conditions that are occurring from the stress that the individual is experiencing.
  • Stress is experienced by all people, because it is a natural reaction to heightened situations designed to increase our awareness and response to the circumstances we are presented with. However, each individual has different mechanisms for coping with mental and physical stress. .
  • Specific criteria must be addressed in order to prove that job-related stress is causing physical or mental health conditions that leave the individual unable to perform their job duties.

How to discuss job stress illness with your employer

If you feel that stress is impacting both your personal and professional life, then it is time to address it with your employer. You should provide your employer with information about what is causing stress in your work environment, such as excess noise, an overwhelming workload or an employee who is promoting a negative atmosphere in the office.

In many cases, the employer will work the alleviate your stress and help you enjoy a more positive environment while at work. In some cases, these efforts are worthwhile and you will no longer experience the all-consuming stress that you once were. However, if the stress levels remain the same or the employer is not responsive to your suggestions, it may be time to consider other options.

Filing for workers' compensation as a result of workplace stress

If stress at work is leading to physical health conditions, such as heart problems or chronic pain, then you may need time to recover from your injuries. Recognizing that it can be challenging to prove job-related stress as part of your workers' compensation claim, your best bet is to work with a qualified attorney who specializes in workers' compensation law in Colorado.

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