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05/19/2024 05:50 PM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20230&cosponId=41120
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: June 27, 2023 02:18 PM
From: Representative Jennifer O'Mara and Rep. Jared G. Solomon, Rep. Mark M. Gillen, Rep. Tarik Khan, Rep. Greg Scott, Rep. Tim Brennan, Rep. Jim Rigby
To: All House members
Subject: Covering Post-Traumatic Stress Injuries under Worker’s Compensation for First Responders
 
Our first responders put their lives on the line every day for us by responding to dangerous and dire situations. They are the first to provide survivors and loved ones with physical and emotional support in extremely stressful situations. Sadly, their work predisposes them to an increased risk of mental health issues; an estimated 30% of first responders go on to develop behavioral health conditions, including depression and post-traumatic stress injury (PTSI). However, first responders who suffer from work-related PTSI do not qualify for workers’ compensation under current Pennsylvania law.
 
Our bill will amend the Worker’s Compensation Act to remove a roadblock that prevents first responders’ PTSIs from being recognized as eligible claims for worker’s compensation. To qualify for worker’s compensation under our bill, an eligible first responder must sustain a PTSI in the course and scope of employment, and a first responder must have received a PTSI diagnosis from a licensed medical or mental health professional. Workers’ compensation claims must be filed within three years of the date of PTSI diagnosis.
 
Our first responders deserve adequate care and time to recover when they suffer a traumatic event at work. It is crucial for them to receive worker’s compensation for a PTSI that may prevent them from working. PTSI care can save a first responder’s life, and covering PTSI under worker’s compensation will help protect their livelihoods while allowing them to continue serving our communities.
 
First responders care for us during our most vulnerable moments; it is our duty to support them during theirs. We hope you will join us in supporting our first responders by co-sponsoring this important legislation.
 



Introduced as HB1632