Mental health is a significant issue for workers in Florida. As employers become increasingly aware of the need to provide support and coverage for those suffering from mental health issues, questions arise about the extent of workers' compensation benefits that are available to employees. In this blog post, we will break down how mental health is addressed in the context of workers' compensation law in Florida.
What Is Covered by Workers' Compensation?
Workers' compensation is an insurance policy that provides wage replacement and medical benefits to employees who have been injured or become ill as a result of their job duties. It applies to physical injuries, illnesses, and even death that occur on the job. Generally speaking, it does not apply to any mental health issues or psychological conditions that may be caused by work-related stress or activities. Florida law says:
"A mental or nervous injury due to stress, fright, or excitement only is not an injury by accident arising out of the employment…"
Mental Health Exceptions in Florida Law
However, there are exceptions to this rule in Florida law. Employers must provide workers' compensation coverage for mental health conditions if they can be proven to have resulted from an injury or illness sustained while performing work tasks. Specifically, the law states:
"Nothing in this section shall be construed to allow for the payment of benefits under this chapter for mental or nervous injuries without an accompanying physical injury requiring medical treatment…The compensable physical injury must be and remain the major contributing cause of the mental or nervous condition, and the compensable physical injury, as determined by reasonable medical certainty, must be at least 50 percent responsible for the mental or nervous condition as compared to all other contributing causes combined."
For example, this means that if a worker sustains an injury such as a concussion or more severe traumatic brain injury while on the job and subsequently develops anxiety or depression because of it, they may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits related to their mental health condition.
Workers' Compensation Attorneys in Hollywood, FL
In summary, mental health issues are generally not covered by workers' compensation laws in Florida unless they can be linked directly back to an injury or illness sustained while performing work tasks. If you believe your mental health condition has been caused by a compensable workplace injury and you would like more information about filing a claim for workers' compensation benefits, it is best to speak with an experienced attorney at Rosenberg & Rosenberg, P.A. who can help you understand your rights under state law.
If you were injured in a workplace accident, contact us today at (888) 499-6206 or fill out our form online.