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N.Y. bills address COVID, opioid injuries and PTSD


Bills before New York lawmakers during the 2022 legislative session aim to tackle issues on COVID-19 infections in the workplace, post-traumatic stress disorder and opioid overdoses.

S.B. 1241 and A.B. 6117, sent to respective labor policy committees on Wednesday, would define COVID-19 as an occupational disease. “This bill does not create new benefits or enhance existing benefits,” a statement included with the Senate measure reads. “It simply prevents insurance companies from denying otherwise valid claims.”

Other presumption bills were also sent to committees: both S.B. 4234 and A.B. 4939 would create a presumption that PTSD is compensable for first responders unless the employer shows by a preponderance of the evidence that the condition was caused by risk factors or exposures not associated with employment.

The presumption would apply to police, corrections officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, paramedics and emergency dispatchers who are diagnosed with PTSD within three years of the last active date of employment.

Meanwhile, two other bills — S.B. 6373 and A.B. 2020 — proposing to allow all workers to receive workers comp benefits for post-traumatic stress disorder, were also sent to committees Wednesday.

Targeting drug overdoses, S.B. 6374 and A.B. 1770 would create a presumption “that the death of an injured worker due to opioid overdose is compensable where that injured worker was prescribed opioids as a result of his or her workplace injury.”

A statement included with the bills, which would provide death benefits, says that because some workers overdose on drugs prescribed to treat occupational injuries, those deaths are ultimately the result of a compensable condition. Those bills are also now in committees.

WorkCompCentral is a sister publication of Business Insurance. More stories here.





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