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Law provides PTSD cover for police, firefighters


Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers on Wednesday signed into law legislation that will enable law enforcement officers and firefighters to obtain workers compensation for post-traumatic stress disorder.

S.B. 11, which unanimously passed both the House and Senate, modifies Wisconsin law to allow police officers and firefighters who are diagnosed with PTSD to file a claim for workers compensation benefits without an accompanying physical injury.

However, the mental illness will not be considered compensable if the PTSD is the result of any good faith actions by the employer such as a disciplinary action, evaluation, layoff, demotion or termination. However, the employees do not need to show that the PTSD was based on “unusual stress of greater dimensions than the day-to-day emotional strain and tension experienced by similarly situated employees.”

The law also limits treatment of PTSD injuries to no more than 32 weeks after the first report of the injury and restricts compensations for such injuries to three times within an individual’s lifetime regardless of a change in employment status.

The law takes effect immediately.