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Idaho Senate passes comp bill for first responders with PTSD

First responders

The Idaho Senate on Tuesday passed a bill 31-4 that would cover post-traumatic stress disorder for first responders if they can prove their mental injury was related to an event experienced on the job.

S.B. 1028, which has 16 co-sponsors in both the state Senate and the House of Representatives, would require the first responder to be “examined and subsequently diagnosed with post-traumatic stress injury by a psychologist” or similar medical professional, and would require “clear and convincing evidence” that indicates that the PTSD was caused by “an event or events arising out of and in the course of the first responder's employment.”

The bill amends current Idaho law that covers PTSD workers compensation claims for first responders if the mental injury was caused by a physical injury.

The provisions would apply to police officer, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, volunteer first responders and emergency communications officers.

The bill, sent to the state House of Representatives on Tuesday, would go into effect July 1. It would, however, become “null, void, and of no force and effect on and after July 1, 2023,” so the effects of the bill can be reassessed.

According to a fiscal note posted on the state’s legislative website, “the National Council on Compensation Insurance expects that the enactment of such legislation will increase cost on workers compensation rates that local municipalities pay as claims come in. However, the extent of such (an) increase is difficult to estimate due to significant data limitations.”




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