“Committee postpones proposal for PTSD treatment for first responders
Anastasiya Bolton, KUSA 9:00 PM. MDT April 27, 2016
DENVER – A proposal that would’ve made it possible for first responders to get PTSD treatments as part of a workers’ compensation claim was postponed indefinitely by a Senate Committee Wednesday.
Police officers, paramedics and fire fighters in Colorado often see difficult things as part of their jobs. Yet, they can’t get workers’ comp to pay for PTSD treatment, according to Frank Gale, the director of the Colorado Police Officers Foundation.
If they have good health insurance, they can get treatment, but it depends on the plan.
The Colorado Police Officers Foundation is helping officers get help and connect them with specialists who can treat PTSD. Currently the Foundation is funding that through private donations.
“It would be better if all first responders could get treatment as part of the workers’ comp system, because the events they deal with that are the cause of some PTSD are directly related to their work,” Gale said.
He says in Colorado, first responders are denied workers’ comp for PTSD because the horrible things they see are considered just a normal part of their job.
House Bill 16-1399 would’ve helped change that. The bill’s language said, “The bill clarifies that a workers’ compensation claim for mental impairment may not be denied based on the occupation of the worker.”
The bill was postponed indefinitely Wednesday by the Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs committee in a 3-2 vote.
Senator Jerry Sonnenberg said he voted against the bill because it was not specific to firefighters or law enforcement, and “included what seemed to be everybody for anything.”
Copyright 2016 KUSA”