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Vermont House passes PTSD bill for first responders

Vermont House passes PTSD bill for first responders

Vermont’s House of Representatives passed a bill Friday that would provide workers compensation benefits to first responders who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of experiences on the job. 

House Bill 197, introduced by lead bill sponsor Rep. Sarah Copeland-Hanzas, D-Bradford, and three other lawmakers, would loosen the requirements for declaring PTSD as an injury that occurred as the result of work for first responders who suffer within three years of the last active date of employment. 

According to a draft of the bill, “(for) police officers, rescue or ambulance workers, or firefighters, post-traumatic stress disorder that is diagnosed by a mental health professional shall be presumed to have been incurred during service in the line of duty and shall be compensable, unless it is shown by a preponderance of the evidence that the post-traumatic stress disorder was caused by nonservice-connected risk factors or nonservice-connected exposure.” 

The bill now heads to the state’s Senate.


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