The purpose of the workers’ compensation is to facilitate treatment for medical conditions arising from employment. Although a debilitating mental health condition may be directly attributable to a person’s working environment, program benefits are typically unavailable to individuals whose only health problem is psychological.
For the most part, Georgia law about workers’ compensation excludes mental health needs. However, a psychological condition that involves a physical injury may be eligible for benefits.
Conditions that develop after a physical injury
A serious injury on the job may result in severe stress or anxiety. If the psychological ramifications of an injury require ongoing treatment, a person may be eligible for benefits.
Conditions that worsen from an injury.
A preexisting mental health condition that worsens due to an occupational accident or repetitive motion injury may fall within the scope of the workers’ compensation program. The fact that a person received mental health treatment prior to a work-related injury or illness will not necessarily preclude coverage. However, claimants may need strong evidentiary support to demonstrate the causal relationship between a physical injury and a preexisting condition.
Conditions that manifest as physical ailments
A psychiatric illness could have a significant impact on a person’s bodily well-being. In some instances, physical conditions that accompany a decline in mental health and require treatment could qualify for benefits.
State law puts considerable limitations on workers’ ability to access benefits for psychiatric treatment. For a claim involving mental health to prevail, applicants must effectively demonstrate a connection to a physical condition.