As a firefighter, you respond to stressful situations every day. All that stress can take a toll on your mental health, and it’s becoming increasingly common for firefighters to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of their jobs.
Though PTSD is a mental condition, it can leave you unable to perform your job to the fullest extent of your abilities, much like physical work injuries. So, can you qualify for workers’ compensation if you’re experiencing PTSD? Here’s what you need to know.
PTSD Is a Qualifying Condition
Though most workers’ compensation claims are awarded for physical injuries, first responders are allowed to file a claim if they’re experiencing PTSD as a result of their work. But there are a few things you’ll need to do to be successful when you make a claim.
Talk to Your Supervisor
As soon as you know you need to file a claim, talk to your supervisor immediately. They should provide you with the necessary paperwork and help submit the required documents to the insurance company for review. If they refuse to help, you can either consult with a Chicago workers’ compensation attorney for help or go to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission to file a complaint and get the required paperwork started.
You’ll Want to Document Everything You Can
Just as with physical injuries, you’ll want to document everything you can about your experience. If the PTSD is the result of a single incident, try to document what happened to trigger the response. If it’s the culmination of multiple traumatic experiences, make a note of what you can remember. You don’t have to go into tons of detail – just enough to create a clear timeline of your experience.
Don’t Suffer in Silence
Unfortunately, there’s a lot of stigma regarding mental health crises of all kinds, but that stigma can be especially pronounced among first responders. The most important thing to remember is that experiencing PTSD is nothing to be ashamed of. You’re exposed to some of the most stressful and emotionally charged situations every day, and that exposure can take a toll on even the most tenured and experienced firefighters.
If you think you’re experiencing PTSD, don’t suffer in silence. Seek help as soon as you can. Talk to your doctor or consult with a mental health professional. They’ll be able to advise you and can document your condition to help you file a successful workers’ compensation claim.
File a Claim With Help From an Experienced Attorney
Though PTSD qualifies as a work-related injury for a workers’ compensation claim, insurance companies can still be hesitant to give you the compensation you deserve. If you’re thinking of filing a claim, consider working with an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney from the very beginning.
At Anesi Ozmon, LTD., our legal team prides itself on doing our best to represent our clients and get the best possible settlement regardless of the type of work-related injury you’re suffering from. Schedule a free consultation today and let our team guide you through the claims process so you can get the compensation you deserve.