A controversial proposal to allow police officers to qualify for workers’ comp for post-traumatic stress passed the Connecticut state Senate last week, after years of similar efforts. However, the measure was narrowed with a key distinction: it would apply to police officers whose mental or emotional problems stem from responding to a death caused by a person, but not those fatalities rooted in handling a car accident or any other part of the job. The amended version of the bill has critics on both sides, with mental health professionals saying that distinguishing between types of deaths faced on the force does not reflect “the reality” of post traumatic stress disorder, as the condition is based on how a person responds to trauma, not the type traumatic event in question. The newly limited scope came after insurance companies and municipalities expressed concern over the potential costs and uncertain duration associated with such claims. The bill also includes a measure increasing access to workers’ comp for firefighters facing cancer diagnoses.
Read full coverage of the debate from The Connecticut Mirror here.