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Mental illness and Nevada workers' compensation

Nevada workers who sustain injuries or develop conditions in connection with their jobs may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. These can apply to more than obvious medical trauma. Sometimes the injuries or conditions may be mental rather than physical.

While Nevada law does allow workers' compensation benefits for some mental illnesses, this type of claim can present some unique challenges.

Connection to job duties

An important part of pursuing workers' comp benefits is linking the injury or condition to your job duties. In the case of mental injuries, proof can be harder in the absence of physical symptoms. For this reason, it is important to see a qualified psychiatrist who can not only render an accurate diagnosis but also determine the causes of the condition.

Stress and danger

The most typical mental illness claim arises from extreme stress or trauma experienced in the course of performing job duties. Nevada law actually requires the trauma to come from being in danger.

Possible symptoms

Common symptoms may include anxiety, distress, fearfulness, emotional instability and inability to focus. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a common diagnosis, can cause a variety of other highly disruptive symptoms.  Sometimes, physical symptoms such as insomnia may also appear. If these symptoms persist, they may result in permanent impairment, preventing you from working again.

Tracing back to an incident

To get approval, your injury must stem from a particular, identifiable incident. It cannot result from stress that builds up over time.

Stress injuries that will not garner benefits

In some cases, workers' compensation will not cover a psychological injury. Generally, you cannot get benefits for stress due to getting laid off, fired or disciplined.

When an incident causes both mental and physical injury

Sometimes, a mental injury occurs concurrently with physical trauma. In such a case, you may get benefits to cover medical care and lost wages, but will not be eligible for disability benefits based on the mental condition. In such a case, you do not need to prove your life was in danger. You may also have an easier time proving the mental damage when you also have physical injuries.



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