Traumatized First Responders in Newtown May Get Workers’ Comp

Aug 21, 2014 | WC & Other Laws

Workers’ compensation laws have limited coverage with regards to post-traumatic stress disorder. There are conditions that must be satisfied and proof of the disorder must be shown. But for the first responders in the Newtown killing, the federal government of Connecticut has some good news.

During the Sandy Hook Elementary School shoot-out, several first responders experienced traumatic stress when they attended to the killed victims. Some characterizations of post-traumatic stress that the first responders are experiencing include not being able to concentrate, getting startled easily, or keeping away from family and friends.

The trauma experienced by the officers was obtained after they witnessed the aftermath of the killing. Reports said the first responders could not get themselves back to work, that they are willing to give up a few days off of their paycheck to get some time off.

But since the current workers’ compensation law in Connecticut is defined quite narrowly, incurring stress after witnessing a traumatic event was not part of the coverage. Because of this, the Connecticut legislature is considering amendments to the workers’ compensation law of Connecticut. State Senator, Cathy Osten, compared the job of the first responders to soldiers. Hence, workers’ compensation should not only be confined to physical injuries but must also expand to emotional and psychological injuries. Osten is firm on following up and fighting for this measure, to give what is due to this group of people who selflessly and bravely attended to the victims.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a condition that is caused by a shocking event. It is a condition that is prevalent among members of the armed forces as well as among veterans. There are those who have long been retired from the military but are still being treated for having post-traumatic stress.

Right now there has been a recent increase in workers’ compensation premiums by about 7.1%, which would be attributed to market conditions, increasing workplace-related injuries, and increased medical expenses. While a business advocacy group is worried about this increase, the said changes will not affect them as these first responders fall under public employee coverage through municipal insurance, along with firefighters and police.

But definitely, if this amendment pushes through, it would be one big leap for workers in Connecticut.

Make sure you are always informed and aware of new or amended state laws in your country. Should you need assistance with getting your workers’ compensation claims, make sure to seek the help of an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. We have been helping Colorado workers claim their benefits for decades now. Contact the offices of Kaplan Morrell at 303.780.7329 or click here for a free consultation today!