Despite a private fund being set up to assist first responders from the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting with costs associated with mental illnesses caused by the event, like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, many believe a more permanent solution should be established.
A bill is currently awaiting consideration by the state Senate that would allow for mental health-related costs of emergency personnel, like firefighters and police officers, to be covered by Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Benefits. Workers could be covered if they witnessed the death or maiming of an individual or were diagnosed by a medical professional with a mental disorder caused by such an event. Current law doesn’t allow for benefits to be given under such circumstances.
According to an article from the Insurance Journal, the bill would also allow police officers to receive coverage of mental illnesses that result from their need to use deadly force against a suspect.
Many state officials and citizens alike feel that a permanent solution to the problem of mental illness caused by working conditions needs to be found because history has shown traumatic events will continue to affect the lives of emergency responders. Those against the law believe the regulations would expose cities and towns to a potential for fraudulent claims.
The Connecticut Personal Injury Attorneys with Carter Mario Law Firm recognizes the devastating effects witnessing a traumatic event can have on an individual. That’s why the firm is hopeful a solution to funding problems for mental healthcare will be found.