A new law governing how post traumatic stress disorder is viewed under the state’s workers’ compensation law will go into effect on January 1.
As part of the new law, if a firefighter, peace officer, corrections officer or certain medical personnel on active duty are diagnosed with PTSD, and they had not previously been diagnosed with a mental health impairment, the diagnosis of PTSD is now presumptively assumed to be an occupational disease due to the nature of their employment.
In other words, individuals who work in these arenas, which can oftentimes be stressful and traumatic, no longer need to create an argument that their diagnosis of PTSD from a licensed physician came about as a result of their line of work. It is automatically assumed that their employment played a role in this diagnosis, unless proven otherwise.
PTSD Arising Out Of Employment
It is worth noting that language of the bill does outline some work incidents that would render the employee ineligible for presumptive compensation after a PTSD diagnosis. For example, if the employee suffered PTSD after being reprimanded at work, this would not qualify for compensation despite the fact that their employment played a direct role in the event that led to the onset of their mental health condition.
Full language of the exception states that “the mental impairment is not considered an occupational disease if it results from a disciplinary action, work evaluation, job transfer, layoff, demotion, promotion, termination, retirement or similar action taken in good faith by the employer.”
The change to the law was sponsored by Representative Tony Albright (R-Prior Lake) and Senator Paul Utke (R-Park Rapids).
So if you, a co-worker or someone you know has been diagnosed with PTSD or another mental health condition and they work in one of the above fields, have them reach out to Margolis Law Firm after the new year. You may be eligible for compensation due to the inherently stressful nature of your job. For more information, or to set up a consultation to learn if we can help you get the compensation you deserve, reach out to Dean Margolis today at (952) 230-2700.