Lawmakers in South Carolina have filed three bills in the last week that would make post-traumatic stress disorder a compensable illness for first responders.
S.B. 81 and S.B. 82, now with the Senate Judiciary Committee, would amend the state’s workers compensation code to include an injury ‘rising from the first responder’s involvement in a significant traumatic experience or situation in the course and scope of his employment, without regard to whether the experience or situation was extraordinary or unusual in comparison to the normal working conditions of a first responder’s employment.’
While the two bills are mostly identical, S.B. 81 lists 14 circumstances that would qualify, such as witnessing the death of a child or transporting a gravely injured minor to a hospital.
S.B. 251 similarly lists incidents that a first responder would have to experience in order to qualify for PTSD benefits and treatment; however, instead of adding a definition to the state’s description of a workplace injury, it states that first responders medically diagnosed with PTSD would qualify for benefits.