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Lawmakers in two states this week are aiming to improve workers compensation benefits for first responders, in line with a nationwide trend focusing on injuries suffered by those who work as police officers and firefighters.
Michigan lawmakers on Wednesday introduced H.B. 5786, which would increase workers compensation cash benefits to injured first responders that would make their income equal to what they would make on duty, amending state law that sets that bar at 80% for all workers injured on the job.
A draft of the bill states that a firefighter or law enforcement officer injured on the job who becomes permanently and totally disabled would be entitled to wage loss benefits “equal to the employee's after-tax average weekly wage. A first responder who becomes partially disabled would be entitled to wage loss benefits equal to the difference between the injured employee's after-tax average weekly wage before the injury and the employee's wage-earning capacity after the injury, according to the bill.
In Arizona, lawmakers read H.B. 2472, which would amend language in the state’s heart disease presumption bill that would make heart disease for firefighters a “conclusive and irrebuttable” injury under workers compensation.
A bill that would cover post-traumatic stress disorder for mental injuries up to death under presumption for first responders in California has advanced.