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Wisconsin introduces first responder PTSD bill


Wisconsin lawmakers have introduced legislation that may make it easier for first responders with mental health conditions to obtain workers compensation.

H.B. 17, introduced Friday, would amend the state’s workers compensation law, altering the standard for firefighters and law enforcement officers who are diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder to obtain workers compensation benefits.

Under the bill, public safety workers diagnosed with PTSD can receive workers compensation if they show that the mental injury arose out of the course and scope of their work and is not the result of a good-faith employment action.

The legislation would also limit liability for mental injury treatment to no more than 32 weeks after the treatment is reported and no more than three diagnoses of PTSD in the worker’s lifetime, regardless of a change in employer or employment.

Current law requires first responders who have a mental health condition without an accompanying physical injury to demonstrate that their diagnosis was based on unusual stress or strain greater than that experienced by other employees.

The legislation has been referred to the committee on government accountability and oversight.






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