Tuesday, December 15, 2009
More On the Mental Side of Workers Comp
It appears my last blog posting was picked up by another website and was noted by them along with a couple of comments. It seems that some on the insurance side see the mental part of workers comp as not often legitimate or even some sort of personal lottery benefit for the injured worker. I can accept that the insurance view is to question alleged impairments. It can dispute any psychological impairment or need for treatment. But to this day I am disappointed by some of the cynicism shown on the insurer side. The fact is any injury anywhere that has lasting physical effects may also result in post traumatic stress, depression and anxiety. Forget about whether it happens at work and forget about the claim for monetary benefits. My experience is that any lasting or chronic injury or disease can be devastating to the injured and their families. I'm not going to go into the medical side in this post. In Colorado I provided some links in my last blog post. Instead I can only say that I've observed how it can stress out some claimants. Some have lost spouses, homes and occupations. Some must deal with contests by the insurer and employers looking to end the problem. Others face adjustments they never asked for. Unless totally disabled most receive benefits that are at best one, two or three years income replacement combining all impairments. Windfall? Hardly. Colorado quantifies the amount but how do you quantify pain and suffering? Lastly Colorado caps or limits the psychological benefits. A couple of years ago there was a case that illustrates how stress can affect a vulnerable claimant. He committed suicide when his case was contested. Sadly there was no recovery for it.