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Workers’ Compensation Covers Some Emotional, Mental Disabilities

Like all states, Massachusetts provides workers’ compensation benefits to eligible workers who have been injured on the job. Along with paying for any required medical treatment, Massachusetts workers’ compensation will also provide wage replacement benefits as long as the worker is unable to work.

While many injuries clearly fall within the realm of a workers’ compensation claim, others are not as clear. For example, if a construction worker falls off a ladder, the worker will undoubtedly realize that he or she has a potential claim under the workers’ compensation system. But a worker who is suffering an emotional or mental disability that is related to his or her employment may not realize that he or she has a potential workers’ compensation claim. Under Massachusetts law, however, a worker could be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits for an emotional or mental disability.

The Burden of Proof

In Massachusetts, the Department of Industrial Accidents is responsible for administering the workers’ compensation system. To file a compensable workers’ compensation claim, a worker must submit the appropriate forms to the DIA. Once a claim has been filed, the employer’s insurance carrier will review the claim and decide whether to approve or deny the claim. Although the process is basically the same for all types of claims, a claim for mental or emotional disability is often more complicated to process.

Any worker who files a workers’ compensation claim must prove that the injury is the result of a work-related accident or incident. When a worker is claiming an emotional or mental injury, he or she must prove that the predominant contributing cause was something related to work. If a worker’s emotional or mental injury follows a physical injury, the burden of proof is a bit more favorable to the worker. In that case, a “but for” test is applied. Essentially, an administrative law judge will ask the question: “But for the physical injury, would the worker have suffered the emotional or mental injury?”

Talk to a Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Attorney

If you have suffered an emotional or mental disability that is directly related to your employment, you should consult an experienced Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. There is no reason for you to continue to struggle if you are eligible for benefits through the workers’ compensation system. The Massachusetts workplace injury lawyers at Kantrovitz & Associates, P.C., are available to review your claim and help you decide your next move. If you would like to know what legal options you have, we can be reached by calling 800-367-0871 or by using our online contact form.

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