Can a Police Officer Get Workers Comp for PTSD and Severe Anxiety?

by Anonymous
(North Carolina)

I am a police officer in North Carolina. I was recently awarded retirement disability due to a citizen complaint. I was placed on paid administrative leave for almost a year and a criminal investigation was conducted. No evidence of any criminal wrongdoing was found.

My psychologist concluded that I suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and severe anxiety due to this situation and its duration.

Would I be eligible for workers compensation due to the psychological damage I suffered? Being approved for retirement disability, would I have a better chance to receive workers comp? Thank you for any information you are able to provide.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Can a Police Officer Get Workers Comp for PTSD and Severe Anxiety?":

Anonymous (North Carolina):

According to the Mayo Clinic, Post-traumatic stress disorder is described as:

“...a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.”

Presently the only way to diagnose post-traumatic stress is via a diagnosis from a psychiatrist, psychologist or other mental health professional qualified to diagnose mental illness. It looks as though you have already been diagnosed. Although PTSD is covered by workers compensation insurance, you can be sure it will be disputed.

If you claim PTSD you will likely have to submit to the workers comp insurance company's Independent Medical Examination (IME). Whether you are eligible to receive duplicate coverage will be determined by the workers comp insurance coverage you had at the time of your diagnosis, or at the time of the event which triggered your PTSD. You will have to check with a representative of the insurance company to know for sure.

In the interim, gather copies of your mental health records related to your prospective PTSD workers compensation claim. Be sure to have the doctor's written diagnosis of PTSD.

One caveat is if you do file a workers compensation claim the workers comp insurance company will have access to your medical or psychological records. That might mean the loss of doctor-patient confidentiality. Any matters you discussed with your doctor related to your PTSD will in effect become public.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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Comments for Can a Police Officer Get Workers Comp for PTSD and Severe Anxiety?

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Same situation
by: Anonymous

I retired due to PTSD in 2004 from a local police department. Retirement was the easy part to get, but I had well documented history and the cause was easily traced to a shooting I was in.

Workers' Comp was another thing. I had to file a lawsuit to get benefits. I settled but had to cash out my 401k to survive on until I found something else.

PTSD came late...
by: LAD

I was a Police Officer for over 30 years. I am now 65 years old. I am NOT receiving a pension.

I developed chronic PTSD in July of 2014, as diagnosed. I live in Illinois and I wish to know if any workers' comp cases have been filed by any first responders for this mental disorder in my state.

Does anyone have any information in this regard?

Reply
by: Anonymous

Thanks so much.

Follow-up...
by: Law Guy

Unfortunately workers compensation doesn't specifically cover future diminished wage capacity. You should though, argue diminished future earning capacity during settlement negotiations. Diminished future earning capacity, although not legally actionable, should certainly be a valid consideration.


Diminished Wages....
by: Anonymous

I would like to add that I realize that workers compensation does not pay for pain and suffering, but how about diminished wages? ...the inability to earn the salary I once I had earned.

'Anonymous

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