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Mental injuries remain a trend in comp legislation with mixed results

Mental injuries

The National Council on Compensation Insurance in late August released its updated legislative activity report for 2022, highlighting that bills that address mental injuries suffered by workers continue to trend nationwide.

NCCI said it monitored 61 bills throughout 2022 addressing workers compensation for workplace-related mental injuries. This includes approximately 46 bills related to post-traumatic stress disorder.

Yet only four passed and one is still being considered. Colorado, Florida, Maine and New Hampshire have enacted workers compensation mental injury-related legislation in 2022 and legislation is pending in New York, according to NCCI.

In Colorado, H.B. 22-1354 clarifies provisions in the workers compensation law relating to the release and disclosure of an injured employee’s mental health records. Florida’s H.B. 689 extends workers compensation benefits for PTSD to correctional officers under certain circumstances. In Maine, L.D. 1879 requires certain reports regarding use of the rebuttable presumption for certain first responders diagnosed with PTSD. And in New Hampshire, S.B. 357 reestablishes the commission to study incidence of PTSD in first responders and ensures that mental health training is available for first responders, law enforcement, fire service, emergency medical service and corrections personnel.

New York’s S. 6373 has passed both chambers. That bill addresses workers compensation claims for mental injuries premised upon extraordinary work-related stress.