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Lawmakers Consider PTSD Comp Bills

  • State: South Carolina
  • Topic: SOUTH
  • - Popular with: Insurance

Lawmakers in South Carolina have filed three bills in the last week that would make post-traumatic stress disorder a compensable illness for first responders.

SB 81 and SB 82, now with the Senate Judiciary Committee, would amend the state’s workers' compensation code to include an injury “arising from the first responder’s involvement in a significant traumatic experience or situation in the course and scope of his employment, without regard to whether the experience or situation was extraordinary or unusual in comparison to the normal working conditions of a first responder’s employment.”

While the two bills are mostly identical, SB 81 lists 14 circumstances that would qualify, such as witnessing the death of a child or transporting a gravely injured minor to a hospital. The bill would also require that the first responder is diagnosed with PTSD as the condition is defined in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

SB 82 does not refer to the statistical manual and does not elaborate on the types of events that would allow a first responder to receive benefits for PTSD.

SB 251 similarly lists incidents that a first responder would have to experience in order to qualify for PTSD benefits and treatment. However, instead of adding a definition to the state’s description of a workplace injury, it says first responders who are medically diagnosed with PTSD would qualify for benefits.

Business Insurance is a sister publication of WorkCompCentral. More stories are here.

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