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Does A Diagnosis Of Depression Qualify For Workers' Compensation Benefits?

For many people, being injured at work can lead to feeling depressed. Work injuries can be stressful and are almost always accompanied by physical pain or trauma which can be depressing in and of itself. On top of that stress and physical pain, work injuries often cause limitations in everyday activities, which can exacerbate feelings of depression.

Depression can come with many symptoms, but the most common symptoms include fatigue and decreased energy, overwhelming or persistent feelings of hopelessness, sadness, and irritability, or a loss of interest in normal activities.

Getting The Help You Need

If you or someone you love has been injured on the job and is showing signs of depression or anxiety, it is important to seek help as soon as possible. It can be difficult to admit to feeling down or anxious, but seeking professional help is the first step toward getting back to "normal" following an injury or trauma.

When worker's compensation claims are involved, many people do not realize that depression or anxiety that results from a physical injury may be compensable. Minnesota courts have held that when a work injury or trauma "causes, aggravates, accelerates or precipitates" mental illness such as depression, the injured person may be entitled to compensation specifically for the depression from the worker's compensation program.

While there needs to be a physical injury present in order for depression or anxiety to be compensable, the physical injury does not need to be the only cause of the depression; it just needs to be a "substantial contributing factor." However, there does need to be a clear medical diagnosis tying the depression or anxiety to the underlying physical injury or trauma, so seeking medical help is important.

To learn more, schedule a free initial consultation with Atkinson Gerber Law Office. Our experienced worker's compensation attorneys can help you determine whether you may have a claim for compensation because of depression or anxiety tied to a work injury.

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