Being injured at work can affect an employee’s mental health.
Whether you’re hurt while on the clock or off, mental health concerns arise from many different causes. For example, the injury may stem from a traumatic event, such as workplace violence or a serious car accident.
Being out of work can also cause significant financial and emotional stress. Learning to cope with a permanent, lifestyle-changing disability also causes psychological stress and disorders.
If you are suffering from mental health issues due to your work-related injury, you may be entitled to mental health treatment through workers’ compensation insurance.
However, to be entitled to mental health treatment under Georgia law, you must also have a physical injury. In other words, if an employee only suffers emotionally, but has no physical injury, he or she cannot receive mental health treatment. This is the case regardless of the severity of the psychiatric injury.
Even if an employee reports psychological issues related to a physical injury, insurance companies are often unwilling to provide mental health treatment. Insurance companies frequently question whether mental health treatment is necessary or related to the accident.
By obtaining a referral from an authorized treating physician, an injured employee has a stronger basis to request mental health treatment such as a psychologist or therapist.
However, obtaining the referral can be difficult for many injured workers. The insurance company may still refuse mental health treatment even after they receive a direct referral.
If you are unable to obtain the mental health treatment you need to recover from your work injury, we strongly recommend contacting an experienced workers’ compensation attorney at Gerber & Holder Law. We can help you obtain the medical evidence required, and challenge the denial if needed.
Once authorized, we can also help you select a specialist experienced in treating injured workers. Our attorneys are deeply experienced in this issue, and will be happy to consult with you about your case.