This legislation would allow for workers' compensation coverage for first responders with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) if a first responder can prove that it was caused by a psychologically traumatic event in the course of their employment.
The bill would establish a rebuttable presumption that the PTSD occurred in the course of employment, but the rebuttable presumption can be overcome if the employer shows by scientific evidence that the first responder experienced a psychiatric stressor from a source other than a psychologically traumatic event arising out of and in the course of the first responder's employment and that such other stressor was a significant factor in the cause, aggravation, or progression of the post-traumatic stress disorder.
Physical injuries to the first responder would not be necessary to file a PTSD claim, claims would be allowed within three years of witnessing a psychologically traumatic event, and claims would be authorized only for first responders who experience a traumatic event after July 1, 2022.
House Industry and Labor Committee sent the House version of this bill (HB 855) to the Governor's Workers' Comp Advisory Council for consideration on January, 26 2022. Please read more about the committee hearing here.