Legislation to expand workers’ compensation benefits to include post-traumatic stress disorder for firefighters, paramedics, EMTs and other first responders will take effect in Florida next month.
Prior to the law’s passage, PTSD was only covered by worker’s comp if a mental injury was accompanied by a physical injury that required medical treatment.
“We recognized this was a problem for a lot of our first responders who would have psychological trauma related to events that they may have witnessed,” Geoff Bichler said.
Bichler is a founding member and managing partner of Bichler, Oliver, Longo & Fox, PLLC, which represents first responders around the state with work-related disability issues.
John Correnti is a Fort Myers firefighter who advocated for the law’s passage, which was signed by Gov. Rick Scott earlier this year.
“PTSD is a silent killer," Correnti said. "And, it needs to be treated immediately if someone has an injury.”
The law will go into effect Oct. 1.