The employee in this case filed a Claim Petition asserting PTSD stemming from several altercations with inmates while working as a correctional officer. The employee received a diagnosis from her primary care MD that she “clearly had” PTSD. She also underwent counseling sessions with Greta Kramer, M.S. who diagnosed her with PTSD and depression. The employee underwent an independent psychiatric examination with Dr. Yarosh who diagnosed her with PTSD, among other conditions. He opined that the psychiatric condition was caused by pre-existing factors, and the work incidents were a temporary aggravation of this condition.
The compensation judge found that the employee had not established a compensable claim for PTSD based on a diagnosis she obtained from a license psychiatrist or psychologist, as required by Minn. Stat. § 176.011, Subd. 15(d).
The employee argues on appeal that the compensation judge erred by finding the employee had not established a compensable claim for PTSD with a diagnosis from a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 176.011, subd. 15(d). She argued that she could rely on Dr. Yarosh’s opinion and that it met the statutory requirement set forth in Minn. Stat. § 176.011, subd. 15(d), and that causation for this diagnosis must be considered as a separate element under Minn. Stat. § 176.011, subds. 15(a) and 16. She argued that the causation element could be established by other evidence presented at hearing.
The WCCA ultimately agreed with the employee that Minn. Stat. § 176.011, subd. 15(d), does not require that the diagnosis of PTSD by a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist include an opinion regarding causation for that condition. Therefore, the WCCA reversed the compensation judge’s finding that there was no diagnosis established pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 176.011, subd. 15(d) and remanded for a determination on causation.