New York and Maryland lawmakers will consider legislation that would provide workers’ compensation benefits to certain first responders who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
SB 3367, introduced Tuesday in New York and sent to the labor committee, would apply to police officers, correctional officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, first responders or those certified to provide emergency medical care, and would require diagnosis by a psychiatrist or psychologist .
The bill states that if the diagnosis “shall be presumed to have occurred during the service of duty and shall be compensable, unless it is shown by a preponderance of the evidence that the PTSD was caused by non-duty-related risk factors or non-duty-connected exposure.”;
The bill also states that such a person diagnosed with PTSD within three years of the last active day of employment would be eligible for benefits.
Maryland lawmakers introduced SB 406 on Wednesday, cross-filed a week after the state House of Representatives introduced HB 335. Both bills, sent to committees, would apply to a list of professionals that include police officers, firefighters, members of an “emergency response” squad,” corrections officers and 911 specialists.
In addition to the diagnostic requirements, the first responder would have to complete at least two years of cumulative service within the state as a first responder and the claim would have to be filed while on duty or within 18 months of separation from duty. Benefits would be limited to two years from diagnosis, according to both bills.