Claiming workers compensation for stress leave
In today’s world, workplace stress is not only common, but can be extremely debilitating to the point where it can derail your life. But workers compensation stress leave is available – and I’ll briefly highlight what you need to know in order to determine whether you have a valid claim.
In Australia, over three days per worker each year are lost due to workplace stress, and stress-related workers compensation claims are certainly climbing at a rapid rate. Despite the obvious increase in claims, so many people are suffering under the weight of toxic work environments and are unaware of their entitlements – which can go a long way to helping get their life back on track.
What is workplace stress?
Workplace stress is the harmful physical and emotional responses that can result when the demands or events at work exceed the worker’s ability to cope.
And by ‘demands or events’ I mean:
Working dangerous hours
Witnessing a traumatic event
Can you claim stress leave?
According to Fair Work Australia: An employee can take paid sick leave when they can’t work because of a personal illness or injury. This can include stress and pregnancy related illnesses.
Can you claim workers compensation for stress:
Unfortunately, you can’t make a workers compensation claim for stress alone. But you can make a claim for stress-related conditions, which is referred to as a psychological injury.
It’s important that your GP correctly diagnoses your psychological condition as your claim will be declined if the doctor refers to your injury as “stress”.
The most common stress-related workers compensation claims in NSW are for:
– Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
– Adjustment Disorder
When it comes to stress claims or other psychological injury claims, there are two things you always need to prove in order to be successful;
– The injury occurred during the course of your employment and
– Work was a significant contributing factor, meaning the stress could not have been primarily caused by family issues , health or financial problems
If you develop one of these conditions you could be eligible for a lump sum payout if you:
– Make a successful claim for workers compensation
– Have been assessed as having 15 percent permanent damage on a scale known as Whole Person Impairment and it’s been accepted by the insurer and Personal Injury Commission
It’s important to note that it can be difficult to prove liability if the employer can show evidence they took reasonable steps to fix the work environment causing the worker stress. So it’s always best to reach out to a specialist workers compensation lawyer, even if it’s just for free advice, to determine whether you have a valid claim.
Hopefully this has been helpful to you, but if you’re still unsure about claiming workers compensation for stress leave or need help with your claim, call Law Partners and you can have a confidential conversation with one of our workers compensation specialist lawyers today.