Ohio House Passes First Responders PTSD Benefits Bill
The Ohio House passed House Bill 308, which allows peace officers, firefighters, and emergency medical workers who have PTSD due to employment to be eligible for compensation and benefits regardless if they already suffer from an accompanying injury or not.
The bill was introduced by Rep. Tom Patton’s (R-Strongsville).
Additionally, the legislation clarifies that claimants will not be able to receive benefits from the Workers’ Compensation Law for PTSD while simultaneously receiving disability benefits from a state retirement system for that injury.
Several groups are supporting the legislation, including the Ohio Association of Professional Fire Fighters, the Ohio State Medical Association, Columbus Fire Fighters IAFF Local 67, and the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio.
“I’ve had discussions with many police officers, firefighters, and EMS workers about this issue since I started working on this around eight years ago,” said Patton. “Based off their personal experiences and viewpoints of their respective organizations, it’s definitely an issue I believe is absolutely necessary.”
Several other states have adopted similar legislation. In Connecticut, a police officer was reportedly almost fired due to using accumulated sick and workers’ compensation time as he suffered from PTSD after his response to the shootings at Sandy Hook elementary.