May 27, 2021
PTSI Bill on the Move in Connecticut
(HARTFORD, CT) Senate Bill 660 met with bipartisan support this week as it cleared the second hurdle in Connecticut's legislative process. Having been presented originally in 2019, SB660 would expand eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits to those suffering from post-traumatic stress injuries (PTSI) incurred while working as EMS professionals, corrections staff, dispatchers and specific COVID-19 affected healthcare provider positions. The bill also changes the terminology used in the underlying law by replacing “post-traumatic stress disorder” (PTSD) with “post-traumatic stress injury.” This distinction being especially critical as it makes great strides in acknowledging when, where and how trauma was accumulated. Meaning those who experience great tragedy in the line of duty will be appropriately cared for and compensated for their sacrifices.
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Current law provides workers’ compensation 'PTSD' benefits to police officers, DOC-employed parole officers, and firefighters diagnosed with PTSD as a direct result of certain qualifying events (e.g., witnessing someone’s death) that occur in the line of duty. The bill allows EMS personnel, DOC employees, and emergency dispatchers to qualify for benefits through the same qualifying events, although the dispatchers may do so by hearing them. Qualifying events for health care providers under the bill are the same types of events, but they must have occurred due to, or as a result of, COVID19.
Further action on the bill has yet to be announced.