PTSD

Governor Rick Scott says he will sign a bill that will allow first responders with posttraumatic stress disorder to qualify for workers compensation benefits. Scott made the announcement during a ceremony honoring Florida’s fallen firefighters. 

It is standard protocol for police, firefighters, and paramedics to run toward the danger. Over time, that can take a toll on the mental health of first responders. Now, a measure in Florida’s Legislature is focusing on protecting first responders who experience PTSD as a result of such a stressful job. 

Florida lawmakers want broader workers' compensation coverage for first responders with post-traumatic stress disorder. But a new version of the bill would add more requirements as well.

Among the many bills to be considered during Florida’s 2018 legislative session is legislation that would offer alternative treatments to veterans with post-traumatic stress.

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Legislation to expand workers’ compensation benefits to include post-traumatic stress disorder for firefighters, paramedics, EMTs and other first responders unanimously passed its first Senate committee in Tallahassee last week.

PTSD is currently only fully covered by workers’ comp if a mental injury is accompanied by a physical injury that requires medical treatment. Advocates say the suicide rate among first responders is higher than the rate among the general population, and that expanding workers’ comp coverage for mental health issues like PTSD would bring that number down.

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