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This Week's Question

  Workers’ Compensation & Mental Injuries

Workers’ compensation law is a compromise between business and labor that has benefits for both. The system provides workers with prompt medical and disability/wage benefits. It sets standards for employer liability and requires financial reserves for such liability, thus cushioning the economic effect of work injury and illness for the employer. It delivers no-fault benefits, at least theoretically allowing for a straightforward administrative and litigation-free system.

Typically, workers’ compensation injuries are physical in nature. Are mental injuries compensable nationally?
A) Yes, the changes in the Affordable Care Act dictate that mental injuries are always compensable.
B) No, to control employer expenses, federal law states that mental injuries are never compensable.
C) Yes, mental injuries are compensable, but only if accompanied by a physical injury.
D) Yes, mental injuries are compensable, but not those that are caused by a reaction to an employment action made in good faith.
E) Depends. Each state has its own law regarding whether employees who have suffered psychiatric injuries at work are covered under workers’ compensation laws.
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