In the state of Connecticut it used to be the case that the suffering of emotional trauma would qualify a worker for workers’ compensation benefits if the trauma’s onset happened in the workplace. In the 1990’s, these benefits faced limitations due to concern of high workers’ compensation insurance premiums for companies.
In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Newtown, Conn., the state of Connecticut is revisiting the debate of whether emotional trauma can qualify one for workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ Compensation is not only about physical injury, but any impairment to a person. Sometimes, a mental condition can be even more inhibiting than a physical one. Many first responders and school staff are facing drastic changes in their psychological well-being due to the event and many lawmakers believe it’s time to change the law to include emotional distress as a qualifier for benefits.
The issue of emotional distress goes way beyond the state of Connecticut. Many workers in many states and professions suffer from psychological distress every day and do not receive any compensation for what happens to them on the job. If employers want to offer complete care for their workers, a higher-than-normal work comp insurance premium is a small price to pay.