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Two more states address PTSD for first responders


Oklahoma and Nebraska joined the list of states aiming to revamp procedures for addressing post-traumatic stress disorders for first responders.

S.B. 333, prefiled in Oklahoma for consideration on Feb. 6, states that the limits on a mental injury or illness that is not caused by a physical injury to the employee shall not apply to a first responder. The bill creates limits on disability pay for such injuries at 70% of the first responder’s pay, not to exceed the state average weekly wage, and for no longer than 52 weeks. 

Nebraska lawmakers on Friday introduced bills that would amend the state’s workers compensation, PTSD law for first responders. Legislative Bill 460 provides clarification on the state’s PTSD law for first responders by stating that it is “irrelevant in determining whether a first responder has a compensable injury” when the “fact that the employment conditions causing a first responder’s mental injuries or mental illness were an expected part of job duties” and whether “the employee had received resilience training… or other similar training.”

That bill would also provide for reimbursement for mental health examinations and resilience training, and set reimbursement rates for such services.

In addition to also addressing resilience training, the similar Legislative Bill 464 adds language that requires the Department of Health and Human Services to maintain and annually update records of first responders who have completed annual resilience training.