Skip to Content
Seasoned Sacramento Injury Attorneys

Does Workers' Comp Cover PTSD?


In California, worker's compensation benefits are provided to employees who sustain work-related injuries or illnesses. These may include physical and mental conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). To be eligible for workers’ comp in California, an employee must have a workplace injury or illness that is related to their job.

PTSD may qualify if it is caused by a specific traumatic event at work, such as witnessing a violent incident or being the victim of harassment. The employee must also have undergone medical treatment for their condition and reported the injury to their employer within 30 days. If all requirements are met, workers’ comp benefits in California can include costs related to medical care and disability payments.

What Is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

PTSD is a mental health condition that's triggered by a terrifying event—either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, and uncontrollable intrusive thoughts about the event. People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened, even when they're not in danger.

There are different types of PTSD and many different symptoms that can affect people in a variety of ways. It's important to remember that no two individuals will experience the same symptoms, nor will they experience them with the same intensity.

In many cases, those affected by PTSD may feel emotionally numb or distant from loved ones, have difficulty sleeping, feel irritable or angry, and may suffer from depression, anxiety, or panic attacks. They may also have difficulty concentrating or remembering important details related to the event that triggered their PTSD.

Filing for Workers’ Comp for PTSD

It's important to note that workers’ comp does not cover PTSD due to events that occurred outside of the workplace or any mental health conditions resulting from general job stress. Employees should consult with a knowledgeable lawyer when filing for workers’ compensation in California.

If you believe you suffer from PTSD caused by an event you experienced or witnessed at work, you may be eligible for workers’ comp benefits. To begin the claim process, consult with a workers’ compensation attorney who can guide you through the necessary steps.

Smolich and Smolich can provide the legal guidance you require. Learn how by contacting us today.