The OMA testified this week in support of Senate Bill 384, legislation to create an alternative method to using the state’s workers’ compensation system to provide benefits to first responders with PTSD (but who have experienced no workplace injury or illness).
Ohio’s workers’ compensation system is designed to benefit workers who experience physical injuries or illnesses. The OMA has opposed expanding coverage to treat PTSD when there is no physical injury because of the precedent-setting nature of such an expansion.
SB 384 would create a special state-administered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Coverage Fund, overseen by the director of public safety. The fund would provide PTSD-only compensation and benefits to first responders. Coverage under this proposed system is intended to be comparable to coverage in the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation system. The bill offers a financially prudent way to provide benefits while protecting the fundamental principles of the workers’ compensation system. 12/10/2020