New Minnesota Law to Help First Responders Get Workers' Comp for PTSD

The new law states that if a public safety employee such as a firefighter, corrections officer, or paramedic is diagnosed with PTSD, it will be presumed that the disorder is work-related.

A new law taking effect this year in Minnesota will help first responders with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) get coverage through workers’ compensation.

According to KIMT3 News, the new law states that if a public safety employee such as a firefighter, corrections officer, or paramedic is diagnosed with PTSD, it will be presumed that the disorder is work-related. As a result, if a public safety employee is newly diagnosed with PTSD, they will receive workers’ compensation.

“It’s a change in the workers’ comp law that creates a presumption that when they’re diagnosed with it, it comes from work,” Senator Nick Frentz said. “They can be covered under workers’ comp, get treatment, hopefully get better and also help us recruit to the profession.”

The new law will allow more first responders to get the support they need to handle their PTSD, according to Frentz.

“This is going to be a change that’s very good for Minnesota police, fire first responders and others in dealing with PTSD,” Frentz said.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, more than 50 percent of firefighter deaths are from stress or exhaustion, not fires, and about 30 percent of firefighters report having depression or PTSD compared to 20 percent of the general population. In addition, SAMHSA reports that about 47 percent of police officers have reported having anxiety or depression in the post-9/11 era.

Rochester Fire Department’s Captain Caleb Feine told KIMT3 News that the new law is a step in the right direction for supporting the health of first responders and other public safety employees.

“We see some things sometime, they're not easy to handle. And everybody handles those things differently so, you know, it's important that we take care of our own in that aspect,” Capt. Feine said.

Download Center

  • Safety Metrics Guide

    Is your company leveraging its safety data and analytics to maintain a safe workplace? With so much data available, where do you start? This downloadable guide will give you insight on helpful key performance indicators (KPIs) you should track for your safety program.

  • Job Hazard Analysis Guide

    This guide includes details on how to conduct a thorough Job Hazard Analysis, and it's based directly on an OSHA publication for conducting JHAs. Learn how to identify potential hazards associated with each task of a job and set controls to mitigate hazard risks.

  • A Guide to Practicing “New Safety”

    Learn from safety professionals from around the world as they share their perspectives on various “new views” of safety, including Safety Differently, Safety-II, No Safety, Human and Organizational Performance (HOP), Resilience Engineering, and more in this helpful guide.

  • Lone Worker Safety Guide

    As organizations digitalize and remote operations become more commonplace, the number of lone workers is on the rise. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies. This guide was created to help employers better understand common lone worker risks and solutions for lone worker risk mitigation and incident prevention.

  • EHS Software Buyer's Guide

    Learn the keys to staying organized, staying sharp, and staying one step ahead on all things safety. This buyer’s guide is designed for you to use in your search for the safety management solution that best suits your company’s needs.

  • Vector Solutions

Featured Whitepaper

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - May 2022

    May 2022

    Featuring:

    • WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY
      How Wearable Technology is Transforming Safety and the Industrial Workplace
    • TRAINING: CONFINED SPACES
      Five Tips to Improve Safety in Confined Spaces
    • INDUSTRIAL HYGIENE
      Monitor for Asbestos to Help Save Lives
    • PPE: FALL PROTECTION
      Fall Protection Can Be Surprising
    View This Issue