There are many people in Florida and elsewhere that put their lives at risk for the safety of others. It is not an easy job, but first responders take on these risks and dangers for the betterment of society. Sometimes this work can take a toll on a person, even causing PTSD. Traditionally, those battling with these issues could seek workers’ compensation is this disorder caused them unable to work for a period of time.
Unfortunately, new reports suggest that Florida lawmakers may be altering the ability to obtain these benefits. Previously, there was no time limit for first responders to file a claim if they were suffering from PTSD. Now, the current bill would decrease this timeframe significantly by only offering them a year to file a claim.
Advocates argue that it is often not just one event but a series of events that cause a first responder to suffer from PTSD. Thus, it is difficult to file an action one year after the event if the first in a series of events occurred over a year ago. According to representative, this bill has been rewritten multiple times this session, each time getting stricter and stricter. It is believed that these decisions are made based on the fiscal impact. However, if they seek to benefit first responders, it is crucial to focus on their mental health and ability to seek treatment and return to work eventually.
Seeking workers’ compensation benefits can be a major step for an employee. It could be the difference between getting treatment and returning to work or not. Thus, it is important to understand your rights, how state legislations could impact you and how best to recover these often necessary benefits.
Source: News.wfsu.org, “Lawmakers Chip Away At Workers’ Comp Bill Benefiting First Responders With PTSD,” Kate Payne, Feb. 13, 2018