Oklahoma and Nebraska joined the list of states aiming to revamp procedures to address post-traumatic stress disorder for first responders.
SB 333, prefiled in Oklahoma for consideration on Feb. 6, states that the limits for a mental injury or illness not caused by a physical injury to the employee shall not apply to a first responder. The bill creates disability pay limits for such injuries at 70% of the first responder’s wages, not to exceed the state’s average weekly wage, and no longer than 52 weeks.
Nebraska lawmakers on Friday introduced bills that would change the state’s workers’ compensation, PTSD law for first responders. Legislation 460 provides clarification of state PTSD laws for first responders by stating that it is “irrelevant to determining whether a first responder has a compensable injury”; when “the fact that the employment conditions that caused a first responder’s mental injuries or mental illness were a expected part of the duties” and whether “the employee had received resilience training… or other similar training.”
That bill would also provide reimbursement for mental health examinations and resilience training and set reimbursement rates for such services.
In addition to also addressing resilience training, the similar House Bill 464 adds language requiring the Department of Health and Human Services to maintain and annually update records of first responders who have completed annual resilience training.