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Could first responders with PTSD apply for workers’ compensation?

On Behalf of | Jul 6, 2022 | Workers' Compensation

First responders may apply for workers’ comp benefits after experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. As described on the website, Connecticut’s Workers’ Compensation Act notes that witnessing traumatic events while acting “in the line of duty” may result in PTSD. When PTSD reflects an employment-related condition, it often requires treatment covered through workers’ comp.

If you work as a paramedic, for example, your skills enable you to help injured victims at the scene of life-threatening accidents. Regularly performing your duties during traumatic events, however, could eventually take its toll on your health and well-being.

Anxiety, depression and sleep disorders reflect common PTSD symptoms

Witnessing injuries and deaths could bring extreme stress or anxiety. As noted on the National Alliance on Mental Illness website, an estimated 35% of law enforcement officers live with PTSD. The American Psychological Association reports that PTSD often brings chronic depression and severe sleep disturbances.

The trauma associated with disasters may also cause first response workers to turn to alcohol. Some workers might also engage in self-destructive behavior. In 2021, close to 150 police officers across the nation died by suicide because of their work’s associated PTSD symptoms.

First responders with PTSD symptoms could qualify for benefits

First responders may see a health care professional for a PTSD diagnosis. An experienced psychologist could help determine which events initiated the symptoms. If you witnessed or experienced events during the course of duty that resulted in PTSD, you could qualify for workers’ comp.

Some first responders may feel uncertain about seeking help when experiencing the often severe symptoms of job-related stress or anxiety. A work-related PTSD diagnosis, however, may reflect an employment injury qualifying for workers’ comp benefits. The treatment and benefits received could make a significant difference in recovery.