Ohio House Approves PTSD Coverage for Emergency Responders, Again

February 14, 2020

The Ohio House has once again approved a measure covering post-traumatic stress disorder for emergency responders who haven’t suffered a physical injury.

Police and firefighters have been pushing for the coverage under the state insurance fund for injured workers for years. The groups argue that it’s wrong for coverage to be available for responders who suffer a traumatic injury but not for those affected by witnessing or experiencing traumatic events.

The legislation will help prevent first responders’ deaths by suicide by offering benefits and treatment for PTSD, said Rep. Tom Patton, a Strongsville Republican and the bill sponsor.

The House approved a similar measure as part of its Bureau of Workers’ Compensation budget last year before the Senate rejected the idea after lawmakers said they wanted more time to study the concept.

The bill passed Wednesday moves next to the Senate, where Senate President Larry Obhof, who supports the idea, promised a “full and fair process.”

State senate lawmakers have been working on the issue, including a version that would offer the same benefits but outside of the Workers’ Comp budget, Obhof said.

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