What PTSD Therapies Are Covered by Workers’ Compensation in Delaware?

What PTSD Therapies Are Covered by Workers’ Compensation in Delaware?With decades of experience assisting injured workers in Seaford, Newark, Wilmington, and throughout Delaware, the workers’ compensation lawyers at Silverman, McDonald & Friedman are keenly aware of the anxiety and uncertainty you may be experiencing after a work injury. Call us today to get started on your workers’ compensation claim.

Work injuries can have far-reaching consequences beyond physical harm, often extending into the realm of emotional well-being. Among the array of psychological repercussions, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) stands as a significant concern for workers who have experienced traumatic events in the workplace. The distressing aftermath of a work-related incident can leave lasting emotional scars, affecting individuals’ mental health and overall quality of life.

Workers’ compensation in Delaware generally covers various PTSD therapies for individuals who have experienced work-related traumatic events. These therapies aim to help employees recover from the psychological impact of such incidents. Some of the PTSD therapies that may be covered by workers’ compensation in Delaware include:

  • Psychotherapy. This involves talking with a mental health professional, such as a psychologist or counselor, to address and manage PTSD symptoms. Different forms of psychotherapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), may be utilized.
  • Medication. In certain cases, workers’ compensation may cover the cost of prescribed medications to alleviate PTSD symptoms. These medications can help manage anxiety, depression, and other related symptoms.
  • Group therapy. Participating in group therapy sessions with individuals who have experienced similar traumatic events can be beneficial. It provides an opportunity to share experiences, receive support, and learn coping strategies.
  • Rehabilitation services. Workers’ compensation may cover rehabilitation services that aim to assist individuals in their recovery from PTSD. This may include vocational rehabilitation, where individuals receive support to reintegrate into the workforce.

It’s important to consult with a qualified workers’ compensation attorney or your employer’s insurance carrier to determine the specific coverage and requirements related to PTSD therapies in Delaware. They can provide guidance and help navigate the claims process to ensure you receive the appropriate benefits for your PTSD treatment.

What doesn’t Delaware workers’ compensation cover?

Workers’ compensation in Delaware typically covers medical treatments that are considered reasonable and necessary for the treatment of work-related injuries or illnesses. However, coverage for experimental treatments or therapies, including those for PTSD, can vary.

In general, for a treatment or therapy to be covered by workers’ compensation, it should be recognized as an accepted and proven standard of care within the medical community. Experimental or investigational treatments, which are still undergoing research and have not yet established a solid evidence base, may not be covered.

However, there are instances where experimental treatments may be considered on a case-by-case basis. This may occur if the injured worker can provide sufficient evidence, such as medical literature or expert opinions, demonstrating that the experimental treatment is medically necessary and likely to provide significant benefits in their specific situation.

What jobs experience the most PTSD?

Several professions are associated with a higher risk of developing PTSD due to the nature of their work and exposure to traumatic events. While PTSD can affect individuals in any occupation, certain jobs tend to be more prone to such psychological consequences.

Some professions commonly associated with a higher prevalence of PTSD include:

  • Military personnel. Military service, especially in combat roles, exposes individuals to intense and life-threatening situations, leading to a higher likelihood of developing PTSD.
  • First responders. Police officers, firefighters, and paramedics frequently encounter traumatic events, such as accidents, violence, and disasters, which can contribute to the development of PTSD.
  • Healthcare workers. Medical professionals, including doctors, nurses, and emergency room staff, may experience traumatic events, witnessing severe injuries, life-threatening emergencies, or even the loss of patients, which can lead to PTSD.
  • Emergency dispatchers. Dispatchers who handle emergency calls often experience high levels of stress and trauma vicariously through the distressing situations described by callers.
  • Disaster relief workers. Individuals involved in disaster response and recovery efforts, such as those working in areas affected by natural disasters or humanitarian crises, may be exposed to traumatic events that can result in PTSD.

It is important to note that while these professions have a higher risk of PTSD, individuals in any occupation can experience traumatic events that can lead to the disorder. Additionally, the prevalence of PTSD can vary within each profession based on specific job roles and individual experiences.

It’s not only accidents that lead to mental and emotional trauma

While injuries in the workplace can certainly lead to the development of PTSD (take the many severe injuries that construction workers can suffer), a recent study shows that “acts of violence are the fifth leading cause of nonfatal occupational injuries in the United States.”

Workplace violence (WPV) refers to incidents in which employees experience abuse, threats, harassment, or assault within the context of their work. This can encompass a range of harmful actions, including robbery, assault, or sexual assault, among others.  The study points out that “in cases of WPV, the workplace itself can become a trauma trigger, making returning to work an important milestone that can be inhibited by PTSD symptoms.”

WPV encompasses various forms of harm, including physical injuries resulting from traumatic incidents and psychological abuse, such as verbal mistreatment. It is important to note that enduring a violent act in the workplace can have long-lasting effects, potentially leading to PTSD even years later.

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the most severe instances of workplace violence involve active shooters. These incidents pose a significant threat to employee safety. However, it is crucial to acknowledge that workplace violence can stem from other causes as well, such as conflicts among coworkers or issues arising from personal relationships. Certain professions, such as healthcare, are particularly susceptible to work-related injuries and violence due to interactions with patients. It is vital to address and prevent workplace violence in all its forms to ensure the well-being and safety of employees across various industries.

How can a Delaware work injury lawyer help me?

It’s important to consult with a workers’ compensation attorney to understand the specific policies and criteria for experimental treatments in Delaware. They can provide guidance on the process of requesting coverage for such treatments and help advocate for your case.

If you are experiencing PTSD as a result of a work-related injury or event, seeking the assistance of a workers’ compensation attorney can be instrumental in several ways.

Firstly, a workers’ compensation attorney can guide you through the legal process, ensuring that you understand your rights and the available options for seeking compensation for your PTSD. They will help you gather the necessary evidence to support your claim, such as medical records, witness statements, and expert opinions, to establish the connection between your work-related incident and the development of PTSD. This can be crucial in presenting a strong case to the workers’ compensation board or insurance company.

Additionally, a workers’ compensation attorney can advocate on your behalf, negotiating with the insurance company to secure a fair settlement that adequately compensates you for the emotional harm and suffering caused by your PTSD. They will ensure that you receive the appropriate medical treatment and rehabilitation services, as well as any necessary psychological therapy, to aid in your recovery.

Silverman, McDonald & Friedman’s workers’ compensation attorneys can provide invaluable support and expertise, helping you navigate the complex legal landscape and maximizing your chances of obtaining the compensation and assistance you need to address your PTSD and regain your well-being. It is crucial to seek professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances to fully understand your rights and options under workers’ compensation in Delaware. To schedule a free consultation, contact us today by calling us or filling out our contact form. We are available to provide our legal representation services from our offices in Wilmington, Newark, and Seaford.