PTSD Bill has First Senate Hearing

This week Senators Frank LaRose (R-Hudson) and Edna Brown (D-Toledo) provided sponsor testimony for Senate Bill 118, which would provide Ohio workers’ compensation benefits to certain emergency personnel for a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) arising from employment without the current requirement of an accompanying physical injury.

This would be a major shift in Ohio’s workers’ compensation law. Unlike previous versions of the bill, Senate Bill 118 would limit benefits to one year and workers who qualify could not simultaneously receive compensation from BWC and a state retirement system disability benefit for PTSD.

A BWC actuarial analysis of the bill found that it would cost local governments $98 million in claims cost. By comparison local governments’ total premium payments now are $190 million.

This proposal has long been opposed by the business community, including OMA, due to the fundamental shift of providing benefits for mental illness without an accompanying physical injury. 11/16/2017