HR best practice: Handling employee stress claims

Sun Sep 01 2019

Work stress claims are workers compensation related. All employers, regardless of size, must have workers compensation insurance. In the event of a work-related injury or illness, employers must provide medical benefits and wages to employees through their WC carrier. If an employee reports mental distress due to high levels of stress or anxiety at work, they may be entitled to workers compensation benefits.

Employers must complete a DWC1 form (per OSHA requirements/law); completing an incident report in addition is an HR best practice. Complete the DWC1 form thoroughly. Include in your incident report form, witness statements and review any areas that may have caused this incident. The DWC1 form and the incident report form are to be used to report and document accidents or work-related illnesses; they should subsequently be sent to your WC insurance carrier.

Be consistent in your practices. Handle your employees’ stress claims promptly and accurately. Show your employees that you are concerned with their health and working conditions. Make sure you complete the reports and send them to your insurance carrier within 7 days from your knowledge of the injury or illness. Have your employee accurately complete their section and keep a copy of the form for your records.

We can show you how to properly complete the DWC1 form and provide you with a template incident report form. Filling out the form correctly can ensure that there are no delays in having the claim processed. The DWC1 form has various sections that need to be completed, including the place of the accident, the employers’ Federal ID Number, the nature of business, etc. Communicate effectively with your employee, so that you can provide the correct information to your insurance carrier.

Always follow up with your employees to see how they are doing. Exercise good employee relations – investigate the matter. Show your employees that you care and value them by showing interest in their health and wellbeing. Taking this extra step can increase employee relations and create a strong employee-employer relationship. Some employers have an employee-relations budget, and send cards or flowers to injured employees. Remember, your employees are your greatest assets! Make sure you show them that you care.