A stressed out woman sitting in front a laptop holding her head with hands reaching to give her more work

Does Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cover Mental Health Issues in New York?

Dealing with stress is a common issue workers in New York and around the world face every day. Although being stressed at work is sometimes inevitable, if your job causes mental health issues like anxiety, depression, or PTSD, your employer’s workers’ comp insurance may cover medical treatment and wage loss. Our workers’ compensation lawyers at Nappa, Monterosso & Poznansky have more than 30 years of experience helping workers in the greater NYC area. We understand that cases involving mental health issues can be challenging, but it is possible to receive benefits in some instances.

Proving Mental Health Workers’ Compensation Claims

To receive benefits from your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance, you must prove that your mental health condition is directly related to your job or workplace. You also have to show that the stress you’ve experienced goes beyond normal employment-related stress levels. Some examples of work-related stress claims that may be successful include:

  • You endured significant stress or mental trauma as a result of a work-related injury, illness, or workplace accident
  • Your mental health condition is related to a distressing event that occurred while you were working
  • You were the victim of workplace violence, assault, or harassment that resulted in stress, depression, anxiety, PTSD, or another mental health condition
  • You suffered debilitating stress or a mental health condition because of extreme or adverse working conditions

It can be tough to prove that stress or mental health issues stem only from your job and are not influenced by personal factors. It’s also important to keep in mind that common stressors like disagreements with coworkers or an increased workload are usually considered to be a normal part of a job. Stress or mental health conditions arising from situations like these are typically not compensable. “Stress-only” claims are not compensable except in rare circumstances. If you’re considering filing a claim for a work-related mental health issue, it’s vital to speak to an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in New York to determine whether you have a viable case.

Occupations that Cause Excessive Stress

Although you can get stressed out at any job, some workers may be at greater risk of work-related stress and mental health conditions. Some occupations that are more prone to job-related stress and psychological issues include:

  • Medical professionals
  • Healthcare workers
  • IT professionals
  • Psychologists, psychiatrists, and therapists
  • Social workers
  • Teachers
  • Flight crews and airline pilots
  • Attorneys
  • Journalists and reporters
  • First responders
  • Military service members

Employers and their workers’ comp insurance companies may argue that people in these professions “know what they signed up for”. However, that doesn’t mean someone shouldn’t be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if they suffer a valid mental health issue that was strictly related to their job.

New York Workers’ Compensation Law and Mental Health Claims

There are several factors that must be considered in mental health workplace injury claims in New York, including:

  • Whether the stress has caused a worker permanent impairment
  • Whether there is clear proof that the cause of the stress was work-related
  • Whether the stress exceeded normal levels of stress for the job

However, even if these factors apply, New York workers’ compensation law is specific about circumstances in which a claim would not be appropriate. For example, if you become depressed because you were demoted or faced disciplinary action at work, if your employer took this action in good faith, you would not be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits.

Types of Benefits You May Receive

If you have a viable case, a workplace injury lawyer may be able to help you obtain benefits for all reasonable and necessary medical expenses associated with your work-related psychological condition. This includes the cost of therapy, medication, copays, and transportation to and from medical appointments.

If your mental health condition keeps you from working, you may receive wage replacement benefits of 2/3 of your average weekly wage while you’re unable to work. In very rare cases, a worker may receive permanent disability or Social Security disability benefits for a work-related mental health condition. Each circumstance is different, and the benefits you may be entitled to receive depend on your specific situation.

Although workers are generally prohibited from suing their employer in New York, if another party caused you stress that led to a mental health condition, you may be able to pursue other legal remedies. A workers’ compensation attorney can help you navigate the complexities of the system and fight to help you obtain the benefits you need to protect your health and finances during challenging times.

Contact a Greater NYC Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

As the largest workplace injury law firm in Staten Island, Nappa, Monterosso & Poznansky, LLP, has helped thousands of injured workers in the greater NYC area obtain the benefits they deserve. Attorney and partner Rolando Cubela provides exceptional legal services for our Spanish-speaking clients. If you’re suffering from a work-related mental health condition, call us at 718-273-9000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with a workers’ compensation lawyer in New York.

Scroll to Top