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    American Workers Still Don’t Know PTSD Is Coverable By Workers’ Comp

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    PTSD is a condition that is coverable under workers’ compensation. Learn more.

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    When most Americans hear the phrase “PTSD” which stands for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, they tend to think of suffering veterans who have witnessed the horrors of war. While this condition is one that is frequently diagnosed in veterans, the fact is that anyone who has experienced a traumatic event could potentially develop PTSD.

    This is frequently the case when a worker is either personally involved in an accident on the job or witnesses an accident. Physical injury does not have to play a part. Psychologists have determined that if during a traumatic event and someone experiences a deep fear for their life, a fear for the life of a loved one, or if their physical reaction is a strong one including vomiting, shaking, or crying, they are at risk. Symptoms can include flashbacks, depression and anxiety, nightmares, hypersensitivity, and a total avoidance of the location or people associated with the event.

    Given the rise of workplace accidents in Pennsylvania, it isn’t surprising that nearly 20% of the state’s residents will be diagnosed with PTSD in their lifetime. What isn’t widely discussed is that the treatments necessary are coverable by workers’ compensation. This may include payments for therapy and prescription medications.

    Unfortunately, many employers are skeptical when it comes to understanding the impact this can have on the life of a worker and it isn’t uncommon for them to contest the workers’ comp claim. While this doesn’t mean that the claim will be denied, it does mean that the application process will be harder and the time until benefits are received prolonged. Additionally, if the claim is denied, the applicant will have to file an appeal and may have to present their case during a hearing. Appeals can take more than a year and are unneeded stress for someone who is already dealing with a heavy emotional burden.

    Lawmakers throughout the state are working to educate the public about PTSD in an effort to prevent the delay of benefits.

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    Larry Levin



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