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NC May Extend Workers’ Compensation Benefits to First Responders with PTSD

first responders

In North Carolina, a proposed bill would extend Workers’ Compensation (WC) to first responders who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). An article on this new legislation appears here.

About the Bill

H.B. 622 would extend benefits to first responders diagnosed with PTSD by a licensed psychiatrist who file within 52 weeks of diagnosis. It covers law enforcement officers, firefighters, volunteer firefighters, Emergency Medical Technicians, and paramedics. If passed, the bill would go into effect in July 2019.

Support for the Bill

Advocates say PTSD in first responders is an occupational injury. Some municipalities, such as Ashville, already provide firefighters with coverage for visits with mental health professionals and peer-support training. A recent study at UNC-Asheville indicates 20% of firefighters from Asheville have reported behaviors consistent with PTSD.

A Growing Trend

Another news source says other states are expanding protection as well. Maryland has expanded protection to firefighters for diseases presumed caused in the line of duty. This includes Leukemia, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and Multiple Myeloma, as well as several other cancers. Indiana expanded protection for volunteer firefighters and increased burial expenses under WC for employees who die from injuries suffered on duty.

About the Workers’ Compensation Act

The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act requires that most businesses with three or more employees carry workers’ compensation insurance. It applies to Limited Liability Companies, corporations, sole proprietorships, and partnerships, provided they do not already qualify as self-insured employers. Businesses that fail to carry Workers’ Compensation insurance may face fines, criminal charges, or even imprisonment.

We Can Help.

If you are unable to work due to a medical condition, mental illness, or injury; contact Daggett Shuler for help. An experienced Workers’ Compensation attorney can handle all of the paperwork and details necessary to work to secure the Workers’ Compensation benefits you deserve.

If you have questions about Workers’ Compensation benefits—or if your claim has been denied—call Daggett Shuler Law at 336-724-1234. When you call, you will speak with a North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Attorney absolutely FREE. We will investigate every detail of your situation at no cost to you—and fight hard to secure the benefits you deserve. 

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