Being a Spouse of Someone on North Carolina Workers’ Compensation

January 24, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

This North Carolina workers’ compensation blog often focuses on the needs, concerns, and fears of hurt and sick workers, and we will continue to surface and address the obstacles that hold workers back.

But most workers don’t operate in a vacuum.

They rely on friends and family members to nurture them, guide them, administer medical care, and, occasionally, financially support them. Many family members of beneficiaries (or would-be beneficiaries) have powerful concerns of their own that may not be getting addressed effectively. In a two-part blog series, we’re going to talk about what it’s like to be the spouse or partner of someone on North Carolina workers’ compensation. We will provide tips, resources, and strategies for you to manage your family’s crisis more effectively and compassionately.

Examples of why being a spouse of someone on workers’ comp can be so difficult:

1.    Sudden temperament changes.

When someone gets hurt or sick at work, everything changes all at once. A confident, proud, and supportive husband can “turn on a dime” and start acting ungrateful and even abusive. The cause of this Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde transformation might be the injury itself, or it might be the psychological trauma of the injury. If your husband was exposed to a nasty chemical slurry at his factory, for instance, the chemicals might have had neurological effects that altered his brain.

2.    Sudden shift of family responsibilities.

Perhaps your wife was the major wage earner for your family. But she suffered severe chronic repetitive stress injury due to her office work. Now she is unable to provide a paycheck for the family. AND she is also unable to offer help with child care and chores around the house. The whirlwind shifting of family roles stresses everyone in the family, including the children.

3.    The chaos of the transition, in and of itself, creates family strife.

In the wake of a workplace injury or illness, you may be shocked and dismayed to discover that your children are fighting more or getting into more trouble at school. Perhaps you or your spouse is getting sick more often. Chaos and constant change can disrupt even the most capable and level-headed family members. Moreover, you may not know where all of these hazards are “coming from.” It may feel like you’ve just hit a jackpot of bad luck. But instability, in and of itself, is often enough to hamper immune systems, challenge even highly functional relationships, and even lead to biochemical and hormonal changes.

If you or someone in your family needs help with a workers’ comp issue – dealing with an insurance company that’s not playing fair, fighting back against a callous employer, etc. – you need stability, guidance, and a return to control. A North Carolina workers’ compensation law firm will help you put the pieces together and get back on track.

More Web Resources:

How Instability In and Of Itself, Creates Stress

Being a Spouse of Someone Who is Injured


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