Episode 51: Calloway County workers’ compensation attorney Jeff Roberts talks about how PTSD is not adequately covered for first responders in Kentucky under the workers’ compensation law. He explains that post-traumatic stress disorder used to be covered, but was changed in 1994 so that it was only covered in the case of a physical injury in the same incident. He goes on to discuss the consequences of this new law, which does not cover those with PTSD from traumatic events that did not result in physical injuries. Shouldn’t there be a easier path between PTSD and workers’ comp for our first responders?
PTSD May Not Be Covered for First Responders
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious mental health condition that can have a devastating effect on those who suffer from it. Unfortunately, in the state of Kentucky, PTSD is not covered for first responders such as police officers, ambulance personnel and firefighters unless it is associated with a physical injury. This means first responders who experience PTSD as a result of their occupation may not be able to access the necessary treatment or benefits they need using Kentucky workers’ compensation benefits.
The issue of PTSD not being covered for first responders in Kentucky has been a problem for many years. Prior to 1994, psychological injuries were covered under workers’ compensation, but the state legislature changed the law to require that a psychological injury be associated with a physical injury in order to be covered. This means if a first responder experiences a physical injury as a result of a traumatic event, then a psychological injury associated with that event could be covered. However, if a first responder experiences a traumatic event without any physical injury, then any psychological injury associated with that event would not be covered.
The Kentucky Supreme Court recently attempted to address this issue in a case involving a Lexington police officer who experienced PTSD after a struggle with an assailant. The court acknowledged that the legislature had unintentionally created this problem and attempted to lessen the harshness of the law.
It is clear that the state legislature needs to take action to address this issue. First responders put their lives on the line every day and are exposed to traumatic events that can lead to PTSD. It is only fair that they should have access to the benefits and treatment they need if they experience PTSD as a result of their occupation. The legislature must take action to ensure that first responders in Kentucky are able to access the benefits they need and deserve.
Seek Mental Health Treatment
At the same time, it is important to emphasize the importance of seeking mental health treatment. PTSD is a serious mental health issue and can have a major impact on a person’s life. It is essential to seek out a qualified therapist or counselor if you think you may be suffering from PTSD. There is no shame in seeking out help and it is important to recognize that it is okay to ask for help.
The stigma associated with mental health is slowly decreasing, but there is still a lot of work to be done. It is important to remember that mental health is just as important as physical health and should be treated with the same respect and care. It is important to reach out and seek help if you are experiencing any kind of mental health issues.
First responders are often exposed to traumatic events and it is important that they have access to the benefits and treatment they need. At the same time, it is also essential to emphasize the importance of seeking mental health treatment. It is okay to ask for help.
Seeking Mental Health Treatment Is Not Weakness
Mental health issues can have a huge impact on a first responder’s life and on the lives of their families. PTSD is a common mental health issue that can have a huge effect on relationships. It can be very difficult to cope with without professional help. Mental health treatment can help to provide support, coping mechanisms, and ways to look at the issue. It can also help to improve the quality of life for those who have experienced a life-altering injury.
Unfortunately, access to mental health treatment in Western Kentucky is not always easy to come by. However, it is important to remember that there are many good counselors, psychiatrists, and psychologists who can provide help and support. It is also important to note that mental health counselors can provide excellent support and treatment for mental health issues.
Seeking mental health treatment is not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of strength. Mental health treatment can be a valuable tool for those who are dealing with mental health issues, and it can help to improve the quality of life for those who are struggling. The people who will notice the most change in someone who is seeking help are their family members.
Mental Health Is Medical Care
Mental health care is medical care, and it should be treated as such. Unfortunately, many people choose not to access the mental health treatment that they need, due to the stigma associated with it. This is especially true for first responders like police officers, firefighters, and EMS personnel, who may experience cumulative trauma over time. This is an unfortunate consequence of a loophole in the workers’ compensation law and it needs to be addressed.
The Kentucky Legislature Must Cover PTSD
The Kentucky Legislature must take action to cover post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for first responders. PTSD is a serious mental health disorder that can develop after a person is exposed to a traumatic event. It can cause a wide range of symptoms, including flashbacks, nightmares, difficulty sleeping, difficulty concentrating, and feelings of hopelessness and guilt. First responders, such as police officers, firefighters, and EMTs, are exposed to traumatic events on a regular basis, and are at an increased risk of developing PTSD.
Unfortunately, in Kentucky, PTSD is not covered under Kentucky’s Workers’ Compensation Act. This means that first responders who suffer from PTSD are not eligible for compensation, and are left to pay for treatment out of pocket. This is unacceptable, and the Kentucky Legislature must take action to change this.
The Workers’ Compensation Act should be amended to include PTSD as a compensable injury. This would allow first responders to receive the medical care and support they need, and would ensure that they are not left to pay for treatment out of pocket. A change to the Workers’ Compensation Act would also provide financial stability for those who are suffering from PTSD, and would help to ensure that they have access to the resources they need. PTSD and workers’ comp should closely linked for our first responders.
The good news is that there is a potential fix to this problem. The language of the Workers’ Compensation Act can be amended to include PTSD as a compensable injury, without bringing in other parties or causing a significant increase in premiums. This would be an easy fix, and would make a huge difference in the lives of first responders who are struggling with PTSD.
It is time for the Kentucky Legislature to take action and amend the Workers’ Compensation Act to include PTSD as a compensable injury. First responders put their lives on the line every day to protect and serve the people of Kentucky, and they deserve to have access to the medical care and support they need. It is time for the Kentucky Legislature to do the right thing and ensure that first responders who suffer from PTSD are able to get the care and support they need.
Support First Responders’ Mental Health
Our first responders are some of the most courageous and selfless individuals in our communities. Unfortunately, many of these brave individuals suffer from PTSD and workers’ comp may not be available.
First responders who suffer from PTSD should be able to get the medical care and support they need. It is also important to raise awareness about this issue, so that more people are aware of the need for first responders to have access to quality mental health care and support.
We need to stand behind our first responders and support them in any way we can. We owe them nothing less.
Jeff Roberts Represents Injured Clients Throughout Kentucky
With offices located in Calloway County and now Christian County, Jeff has a history of representing personal injury clients, workers’ compensation clients and social security disability clients across the state. He’s represented clients from Paducah, Bowling Green, Louisville, Covington, Whitesville and many other Kentucky locations. He’s not just a Western Kentucky injury attorney.
We hope you found this episode insightful and helpful. Thank you for listening!
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The office phone number is (270) 753-0053 or toll free at 800-844-5108. For more information, visit www.JeffRobertsLaw.com. This podcast is meant to provide information and is not legal advice. Jeff’s principal office is located at 509 Main Street, Murray, Kentucky. Co-host Jim Ray is a non-attorney spokesperson. This is an advertisement.