People in Illinois who experience debilitating stress because of their jobs might be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Workers may experience many different types of pressures from their jobs that can cause psychological and physical problems. If excessive on-the-job stress caused mental or physical health problems that prevent victims from returning to work at full capacity, they might be entitled to workers’ compensation.
Causes of Work-related Stress
People may experience work-related stress because of many different factors in their jobs. They might be stressed because of any of the following:
- Constant requirements for overtime work
- Abuse by supervisors
- Refusals to promote or poor performance evaluations
- Unwarranted criticism
When people experience constant stress because of their jobs, they may become overwhelmed and unable to work. Constant stress may lead to mental illnesses such as depression or anxiety which might prevent them from returning to their jobs.
Workers’ Compensation and Stress
In Illinois, it is possible for workers to recover workers’ compensation benefits because of stress. However, they must be able to prove that their stress and their resulting mental health issues arose from their jobs. If they are not able to prove that their stress is work-related, they will not be able to prevail in their claims. Petitioners of workers’ compensation claims for stress have the burden of proof, which means they will need to be able to present medical and documentary evidence that their stress and resulting problems were caused by their jobs.
Proving a Workers’ Comp Stress Claim
Proving a workers’ comp claim based on stress from a job can be difficult for petitioners. People might be able to prove their claims with testimony from their treating doctors or psychiatrists that clearly demonstrate that they suffered stress because of their jobs. They might also present their medical records to support their claims. If they suffered abuse from their supervisors or discrimination, testimony or statements from co-workers that support the workers’ stories might also help to prove that their stress was work-related. The stress levels that the people suffered from their jobs must be higher than what others with similar jobs typically experience. If the workers prevail, they may receive workers’ compensation disability benefits while they are unable to work.