Does Ohio Workers’ Compensation Cover PTSD?

Barkan Meizlish , February 4, 2020

You cannot file a workers’ compensation claim in Ohio when you request benefits solely because you developed post-traumatic stress disorder. Even if the PTSD can be linked explicitly to something that occurred in the workplace, the mental condition cannot be cited as the only reason you believe you should receive health care coverage and replacement wages for time spent out of work.

We highlighted “cannot,” “solely” and “only” because a claim for workers’ comp benefits can include a request for coverage of PTSD treatments. More on that below. The main thing to understand is that workers’ comp benefits do not get awarded strictly for mental health problems like PTSD, stress, and anxiety.

It is also important to know that severe cases of PTSD and other mental health problems can support a claim for long-term disability benefits through a program like Social Security. The key qualifier there is that the symptoms must keep people off the job for more than a year.

Still, current Ohio workers’ compensation laws limit short-term disability claims to one of the following:

  • Physical injuries incurred while engaged in work-related activities
  • Occupational illnesses related to exposures to substance on the job, or
  • Deaths in workplace accidents.

Mentioning PTSD in a Workers’ Comp Claim

Ohio workers can extend their claim for coverage of an injury or illness by presenting evidence that they developed PTSD as a result of being hurt or sick and unable to do their job. When a qualified psychiatrist, psychologist or other health care provider diagnoses PTSD as developing because a person suffered a work-related injury or illness, treatment and therapy for the mental health condition may be provided along with treatment for the physical condition.

It also worth mentioning that the people who write Ohio’s workers’ comp laws recognize that PTSD is serious and common. In 2019, members of the state House of Representative passed a bill that would have allowed public safety employees like police and firefighters to claim workers’ comp benefits for just PTSD. That proposal did not survive in the state Senate, but it will be brought up again.

Attorneys with Barkan Meizlish, LLP, are available to help with all types of workers’ compensation claims in Ohio. We offer free, no-pressure consultations, and we take appointments online. To speak with a workers’ compensation lawyer directly, call us at (614) 221-4221.

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