My Mental Health Problems Were Made Worse By A Data Breach – When Could I Claim?

This guide will look at what could cause your mental health problems to get worse after a data breach. A breach which exposes your personal data can be a highly stressful experience, and if you already suffer from poor mental health, then this can make it worse. If the breach was caused by the wrongful conduct of the organisation processing your data, then you may be able to claim. 

In this guide, we will look at the laws that outline how personal data should be protected and how a breach could occur. We’ll also examine how payments for these claims are valued and the amount you could receive if affected by a breach.

Mental health problems made worse by data breach

Mental health problems are worse after a data breach guide

If you wish to make a data breach claim, our advisors may be able to help you. Call our helpline, and we can offer you free legal advice about claiming. Moreover, your case could be passed to a solicitor from our panel if it’s deemed that your claim has a good chance of success. 

You can:

  • Call our advice line on 0161 696 9685
  • Contact us via our website
  • Ask us a question using the Live Support option on your screen

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When Could You Claim If Your Mental Health Problems Were Made Worse By A Data Breach?

If your mental health problems are worse after a data breach, you may be able to claim compensation. A personal data breach is a security incident that impacts the integrity of your personal data or how secure or confidential it is. The Information Commissioner’s Office is the independent regulator for data rights in the UK. 

Personal data is information that has been processed and that can identify a natural person. Even if the data cannot be used to identify someone alone, it can still be considered personal data if it can be used to identify someone when combined with other information. 

In the UK, organisations must protect personal data. The UK General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 are the laws that dictate how personal data should be protected in the UK or when processing data of UK citizens. If an organisation fails to protect personal data sufficiently, and this results in a breach that causes harm to the data subject (the person to whom the data relates), then this could form the basis of a data breach compensation claim.

How Could An Organisation Breach Your Personal Data?

Data breaches can happen because of human error. Human error means an unintentional mistake. For example, an employee may send out an email to a large group and use the CC field instead of the BCC field. Consequently, the recipient’s emails could be shared with the rest of the group, who aren’t authorised to see this.

Businesses and organisations should invest in training their staff to minimise the risk of a human error data breach taking place. If an organisation doesn’t do all they can to protect your data, and it’s exposed in a breach, you could claim. 

For more information on what to do if your mental health problems are worse after a data breach, speak with an advisor today. They could connect you with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel if you have a valid claim.

Mental Health Conditions Affected By Data Breaches

Data breaches can have a significant impact on your mental and emotional well-being. For some people with mental health problems or psychological injuries, the emotional distress a data breach can cause can worsen their pre-existing problems. Below, we’ve included some examples of mental health problems which can be made worse by a data breach.


Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) is a mental health condition where people feel anxious about a wide range of situations; GAD is not associated with one specific event or occurrence. People with GAD may experience psychological symptoms such as constant restlessness and a feeling of dread. They may also experience physical symptoms, including dizziness and heart palpitations.


Stress is a normal reaction to upsetting events or times you feel overburdened in life. However, there are times when you can experience ongoing levels of stress that make you ill and unable to perform your daily tasks. Stress after a data breach can negatively impact your physical and mental health.

Data breaches can be distressing events that can significantly impact your mental health. So, if you already have a mental health condition, such as anxiety or depression, the trauma of the data breach may worsen the condition. You could potentially claim compensation for these psychiatric injuries. Please call us today to see if you can claim.

How Long Do I Have To Make A Data Breach Claim?

If your mental health problems were made worse by a breach of the UK GDPR that exposed your personal data, you might wish to claim compensation. Please note that there is a time limit for making a data breach claim. The time limit is as follows:

  • 6 years against privately-funded organisations 
  • 1 year against a publicly funded body

There are sometimes exceptions to these rules. Please feel free to get in touch with us, and we can let you know if you can still make a claim.

Can I Sue If My Data Is Leaked?

You may be wondering if you can sue if your data is leaked. To make a successful data breach claim, you will need to prove that the organisation’s wrongful conduct caused the breach. 

Furthermore, you will need to provide evidence of the breach and evidence of the impact that it has had on you. This could include: 

  • Medical records. If you sought medical attention after the data breach, then the records from this could be used to show how it’s impacted you. 
  • Financial evidence. There’s no requirement for you to have suffered financially in order to claim for the mental impact of a breach. But if you have lost money because your data was exposed, then you can provide bank statements demonstrating this in support of your claim. 
  • Correspondence with the organisation. If you have complained to them about the way your personal data is being handled, and they’ve responded confirming that a breach has occurred, then you could use your communication with them to support your claim.

For more information on claiming if your mental health problems are worse after a data breach, speak with an advisor today.

What Could You Claim If A Data Breach Made Mental Health Problems Worse?

You may wonder how much compensation you can get for a data breach. You can receive up to two types of damages if your compensation claim succeeds. Material damages may be paid for the financial losses your data breach caused. Furthermore, non-material damages may be paid to compensate you for emotional distress, or mental health problems suffered, including the exacerbation of issues you already suffered from.

The information table below can be used instead of relying on a data breach compensation calculator to value your potential settlement. We used guidelines from the Judicial College to create the compensation brackets in the table; this is a document that legal professionals use to help them assign values to claims, including personal injury claims like accidents at work, road traffic accidents or medical negligence. However, you may receive a different amount depending on your circumstances. 

Injury Severity And Damages About
Mental Harm Severe (a)- £54,830 to £115,730 Impact on ability to cope with work, education and relationships. Marked problem with regards to future vulnerability. Poor prognosis.
Mental Harm Moderately Severe (b) – £19,070 to £19,070 Significant problems with work, education and relationships. More optimistic prognosis than in more severe instances.
Mental Harm Moderate (c)- £5,860 to £19,070 Whilst there are problems with work, education and relationships, there will be marked improvement and a positive prognosis.
Mental Harm Less Severe (d)- £1,540 to £5,860 The level of award within this bracket will consider how badly the injured person was disabled by their injuries.
Reactive Disorder (Psychiatric) Severe (a)- £59,860 to £100,670 An injury resulting in permanent symptoms. The claimant is not able to function to pre-trauma levels. All parts of their life are impacted.
Reactive Disorder (Psychiatric) Moderately Severe- (b) £23,150 to £59,860 Some degree of recovery possible with professional help. They could experience disabilities for the foreseeable future.
Reactive Disorder (Psychiatric) Moderate (c)- £8,180 to £23,150 The recovery will be largely complete. The claimant could still have some symptoms which are not grossly disabling.
Reactive Disorder (Psychiatric) Less Severe (d)- £3.950 to £8,180 The claimant should make an almost complete recovery. There may be some minor symptoms lasting after 24 months.

You are welcome to call us, and we can advise you on how much compensation you can claim. Furthermore, if you have a valid case, you could be connected with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel.

Speak To An Expert If Your Mental Health Problems Were Made Worse By A Data Breach

If your pre-existing mental health problems are worse after a data breach, please get in touch today. You can speak to a claims advisor who can let you know if you have legitimate grounds to claim. Moreover, if our advisors believe you have a valid data breach claim, our panel of data breach lawyers can handle your case.

In addition, you can fund legal representation for a data breach claim on a No Win No Fee basis. This means that you won’t pay any fees upfront or during the claims process. 

Furthermore, if you lose your claim, there’s nothing to pay your lawyer for their services. Instead, you will only have to pay a success fee if your claim succeeds; this is a legally capped percentage of your settlement.

To enquire about claiming compensation if your mental health problems are worse after a data breach, please contact us today:

Related Data Breach Claims

These online resources may help you if you want to claim compensation for a data breach.

Information on how to complain about a data breach from the ICO

An NHS guide to depression

National Cyber Security Centre provides password tips for staying safe online

We appreciate you taking the time to look at our guide to claiming compensation if your mental health problems are worse after a data breach.

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