If you have headaches at work, you may wonder if you can receive workers’ compensation benefits for them. Headaches result in millions of lost work hours every year, and they affect many employees in all different occupations. You may be surprised to learn that some kinds of headaches could give rise to workers’ compensation claims, while others will not.
Which Kinds of Headaches Might Lead to Workers’ Compensation Claims?
Workers get headaches for all kinds of reasons, some of which are not related to work. For example, someone could have a headache from not getting enough sleep, being dehydrated, feeling hungover, or having stress at home. To receive workers’ compensation benefits, an employee must prove that his or her headaches arose – at least in part – from work-related activities.
Moreover, employees might not be able to recover if their headaches arise because of normal job stresses, such as demotions, performance reviews, criticism, layoffs, or terminations. Minn. Stat. § 176.011, subd. 16. But headaches can arise for many other reasons, such as:
- Head injuries
- Exposure to chemical fumes
- Panic attacks
- Ill-fitting helmets or hats
If there are multiple reasons for the headaches including work, then the employee may still recover benefits. Further, a pre-existing headache could give rise to a claim if work activities aggravated it. An employee could arrive at work with a headache that is under control, but stressful situations might make it worse.
How Can Employees Recover Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Headaches?
Insurance companies frequently deny initial claims for workers’ compensation benefits due to headaches. In order to successfully receive benefits, an injured worker should seek a medical opinion from a doctor. When visiting the doctor, the worker should ask the doctor if work activities caused their headaches or aggravated them. If so, then the worker should get a written opinion from the doctor to that effect.
In addition, workers whose claims are initially denied by insurers often need lawyers’ help to win their benefits. Lawyers who have handled headache cases will understand the kind of evidence and documentation that workers need to provide. While headache workers’ comp claims can be tricky, employees dealing with work-related head pain should not hesitate to seek benefits.
Need help getting workers’ compensation for your injury? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.