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PTSD Now Included in FL Workers' Comp

First responders carry an injured person on a stretcher.
21st Space Wing
/
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

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.

Copyright 2020 WGCU. To see more, visit WGCU.

Andrea Perdomo is a reporter for WGCU News. She started her career in public radio as an intern for the Miami-based NPR station, WLRN. Andrea graduated from Florida International University, where she was a contributing writer for the student-run newspaper, The Panther Press, and also a member of the university's Society of Professional Journalists chapter.