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The North Carolina House of Representatives passed a bill on Thursday that would enable first responders to obtain workers compensation coverage for post-traumatic stress disorder.
H.B. 492, which unanimously passed the House, would modify state law to enable law-enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency dispatchers and emergency management services personnel to obtain workers compensation benefits for psychological trauma under certain circumstances. Currently in the state, mental injuries are only compensable if they are caused by a compensable physical injury or illness.
The bill would make PTSD suffered by first responders compensable if diagnosed by a licensed health care provider who establishes within a reasonable degree of certainty that the PTSD was work-related. The legislation would also require that employers of first responders educate workers on mental health identification and treatment.
If signed into law, the legislation would take effect July 1, 2021.
First responders in Alabama could file mental injury claims without a physical injury under a bill proposed by state lawmakers on Tuesday.