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Can you receive workers’ compensation for workplace stress?

In some occupational settings, stress is a part of the daily work experience. From medical professionals to stock market traders, a certain level of stress is necessary in order to be successful at the job. What you may not realize is that in some situations, occupational stress can cause serious health conditions. These health conditions may limit a person’s ability to work in the future, and may qualify the person to receive workers’ compensation benefits.

Although each case may involve different circumstances, there are common factors that officials use to determine whether a worker may be eligible for benefits. According to the American Bar Association, the stress that the worker experienced must be at a level that is higher than is normal for the position. In addition, the worker must be able to prove that the stress was caused by work and not the result of another life experience. Finally, the stress must cause permanent impairment which inhibits a person’s ability to continue working at his or her position.

While common workplace injuries, such as broken bones, brain trauma and back injuries are easily measured using medical diagnostic aids, stress is subjective. Each person handles it differently based upon his or her ability to tolerate a wide-range of situations. When people endure continuous stress over a period of time, they may develop certain mental disorders, such as depression, severe anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Furthermore, research shows that stress can affect people in a physical manner as well.

This information should be used for educational purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice. 

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