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First-responder PTSD comp bills take effect in Arizona, Rhode Island


Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs this week signed into law legislation that would enable certain first responders diagnosed with job-related post-traumatic stress disorder to receive alternative treatments. 

The governor on Tuesday signed Senate Bill 1677, which would require employers to provide workers compensation coverage to firefighters and peace officers who have PTSD, with the mandated coverage including methylenedioxymethamphetamine, or MDMA-assisted, therapy.

The law would entitle the injured workers to one course of MDMA treatment protocol.

MDMA treatment would have to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration before it could be used in conjunction with Arizona’s workers compensation system, the bill states.

Meanwhile, a similar Rhode Island bill that creates a line-of-duty presumption of compensability for police officers and firefighters who seek supplemental benefits after being diagnosed with work-related PTSD went into effect Thursday without the governor’s signature.

The new law says the presumption would not apply if PTSD arises out of any work-related disciplinary actions or evaluations, job transfers, layoffs, demotion or termination.

The law entitles affected workers to receive accidental disability retirement benefits if they become unable to perform their job duties because of their PTSD.