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Study: Stress among injured workers results in disability risk

Going to work can be a stress in itself. Now, imagine that someone kisses their kids goodbye in the morning, goes to work and then is injured on-the-job. Or imagine the stress of an injury or illness that keeps someone from being able to go to work. Work is more than a job; it is a means of supporting oneself and a family.

Sickness and injuries do happen, whether on-the-job or outside of work. Those physical setbacks can become professional and, therefore, financial setbacks. To help mitigate a setback and allow people to get by, there are workers' compensation and disability benefit options. Could those options as-is be hurting some people?

Findings of a study suggest that compensation options for injured or sick workers could be so stressful that they prevent people from getting healthier. Researchers polled in-need workers who filed claims to gauge levels of stress during the claims process. Basically, the research showed that those who noted high levels of stress were more likely to need long-term support and/or disability benefits. 

Does this study mean that compensation and disability payment options are bad for society's health? No. Not necessarily. What it means is that the claims processes can be complex, confusing, scary and stressful. Perhaps the claims processes could be simplified in order to better help the injured and sick. 

What is definitely true is that those who are unable to work need the help of an attorney to help get them the support that they need. Say an illness or injury leads to a long-term disability, a disability claims lawyer can help try to mitigate the level of stress of the claims process.

Source: JAMA Psychiatry, "Relationship Between Stressfulness of Claiming for Injury Compensation and Long-term Recovery," Genevieve M. Grant, Meaghan L. O’Donnell, Matthew J. Spittal, Mark Creamer and David M. Studdert, Feb. 12, 2014

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