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Wisconsin lawmakers aim to amend PTSD presumption

Wisconsin capitol

Wisconsin lawmakers are considering legislation that would amend the state’s current workers compensation presumption for post-traumatic stress disorder suffered by first responders.

A.B 778, introduced Thursday, would make changes to the conditions of liability for benefits for certain first responders suffering from PTSD.

According to a summary of the bill, under current law if an injured emergency medical responder, emergency medical services practitioner, volunteer firefighter, correctional officer, emergency dispatcher, coroner, coroner staff member, medical examiner or medical examiner staff member “who does not have an accompanying physical injury must demonstrate a diagnosis based on unusual stress of greater dimensions than the day-to-day emotional strain and tension experienced by all employees” in order to receive workers compensation benefits for PTSD.

Under the bill, such employees would not be required to demonstrate a diagnosis based on that standard. Instead, they must demonstrate a diagnosis based on the same standard as police officers and firefighters — a diagnosis of PTSD by a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist.