Minnesota bill would require PTSD treatment for police and firefighters

A bill was introduced Monday in the Minnesota House of Representatives that would require treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder among law enforcement officers, firefighters and state troopers as part of eligibility workers’ compensation benefits.

HB 4026 would require an injured worker to complete at least 32 weeks of treatment before a decision can be made on permanent total disability compensation. If the employee is determined to have a permanent total disability, ongoing treatment for PTSD will continue under the direction of the employee’s mental health care provider, who must continually assess the progress of the treatment of the employee at least once a year, including any change in the employee’s ability to return to gainful employment.

The bill would allow the employer to continue to provide health insurance benefits and pay the employer’s contribution to both health benefits and retirement benefits for the duration of the 32 weeks of treatment required for an employee.

Public employers subject to the provisions of the bill would be eligible for reimbursement determined and provided by the Commissioner of Public Safety, but must provide either annual welfare training for peace officers and firefighters or a program employee assistance or peer support program.

The bill has been referred to the Finance and Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Policy Committee, where it is pending.

About Antoine L. Cassell

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