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A Texas lawmaker has introduced legislation that would cover post-traumatic stress disorder under workers compensation for first responders in the state.
House Bill 1983, introduced Thursday, falls in line with a national trend to provide workers comp coverage for police officers and firefighters suffering from mental ailments stemming from what they experience on the job.
A Florida lawmaker introduced similar legislation in January.
The Texas bill, introduced by state Rep. John Wray, R-Waxahachie, would require the first responders to meet the specific criterial for post-traumatic stress disorder as specified by the American Psychiatric Association and would have to show “impairment … of functioning in the (his or her) community, employment, family, school or social group,” the bill states.
The bill also states that a first responder’s mental suffering would be compensable if “the disorder is caused by events occurring in the course and scope of the firefighter’s or peace officer’s employment; and the preponderance of the evidence indicates that the firefighter’s or peace officer’s work was a substantial contributing factor of the disorder.”
Pennsylvania lawmakers are considering a bill that would provide state workers compensation coverage to first responders who are injured during emergencies on state game lands.