Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Sen. Weaver files bill to extend workers’ comp benefits to first responders with PTSD

Sen. Weaver files bill to extend workers’ comp benefits to first responders with PTSD

OKLAHOMA CITY – State Sen. Darrell Weaver has filed legislation to ensure workers’ compensation will cover post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for first responders, including law enforcement officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians (EMTs).

Weaver said in the course of their work, first responders witness terrible injuries and death as a result of natural disasters, accidents, and acts of violence.

“I don’t think the average person can even begin to comprehend the amount of trauma first responders deal with, and those experiences can result in PTSD.  It can impact their ability to do their job and leave them at higher risk for developing substance abuse issues or becoming suicidal,” said Weaver, R-Moore.  “Senate Bill 333 would give first responders an important resource to get treatment for PTSD.”

Under the provisions of SB 333, if the Workers’ Compensation Commission finds that a first responder has suffered PTSD as a result of exposure to trauma on the job, they would be eligible to receive medical treatment for up to one year.

“While a similar measure did not make it all the way through the process last session, I am committed to working with my fellow members to help raise awareness about this issue and how SB 333 would better support our first responders throughout Oklahoma,” Weaver said. “These men and women are heroes, and whether it is a physical injury or PTSD, if it is a result of their work, they should have access to care through workers’ comp.”


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