Those who work within the emergency services industry in California know exactly how taxing such work can be. Yey while most people might think the demand to be most physical, many do not appreciate the psychological and emotional stress inherent in working in this unique sector. Indeed, according to information shared by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, nearly 30% of first responders develop behavioral health conditions related to their work.
This prompts the question of whether a law enforcement officer or firefighter can qualify for workers’ compensation to help cover the costs of treatment for on-the-job stress. One can secure such assistance, but only under certain conditions.
Qualifying for workers’ compensation for stress and anxiety
Per the Department of Industrial Relations for the State of California, an employee (including one in the emergency services industry) can qualify for workers’ compensation based on stress. However, such assistance is typically only available to employees who have been on the job for at least six months. In addition, workers’ compensation for stress is often only an option if one proves their stress to be due to extraordinary circumstances and not the standard day-to-day processes of their job. Fortunately for first responders seeking such assistance, the nature of their work often them with such circumstances.
Proving stress is due to work
Still, even when one works within what many may classify as a high-stress industry, they still usually need to prove that their stress is due to their job. Having the testimony of a physician or therapist to offer a clinical diagnosis related to on-the-job stress may go far in making this point, as can clinical documentation confirming ongoing treatment.