Bill to Improve Access to Workers’ Compensation for PTSD Moves Through Committee

DENVER—Today, a bill sponsored by Senator John Cooke, R-Weld County, clarifying worker’s compensation mental impairment coverage passed successfully through the Senate Business, Labor, and Technology Committee 

 

House Bill 17-1229 improves the current wording of workers’ compensation insurance laws regarding mental impairment claims. Under current law, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is not clearly defined, making reporting and filing mental impairment claims after workers experience a traumatic event difficult for first responders. 

 

HB-1229 states that an individual suffering from PTSD must be diagnosed by a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist. The bill clarifies that PTSD is defined as a “psychologically traumatic event,” or an event differing from the individual’s usual work experience that would evoke significant symptoms of distress.

 

HB-1229 clearly defines PTSD, broadening the definition to make claims. It also streamlines the process of filing for and receiving workers’ compensation for those who serve the community as first responders. The bill further ensures that those who have experienced a traumatic event in the workplace and are in need of workers’ compensation can get the care they need as quickly as possible. 

 

 

“This bill has taken a necessary step in helping our brave first responders who have undergone a traumatic event in the workplace get the help and compensation they need to deal with the mental impairment they are experiencing,” said Senator Cooke. “First responders and peace officers carry a unique burden everyday when they go to work to protect the people of our communities. The current law has denied many of these brave men and women the coverage they deserve simply because of a lack in clarity. This bill clears up much of the uncertainty surrounding what qualifies as PTSD in the hope that compensation will be provided rightfully and as promptly as possible to help those who have helped us.” 

 

The bill will now go to a vote of the Senate. 

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