First Responders Can Now File Occupational Disease Claims For PTSD

On March 23, 2018, Governor Inslee signed into law SSB 6214.  This law allows firefighters, EMTs, and law enforcement officers to file occupational disease claims related to repeated stressful on the job incidents resulting in post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  The law also creates, with certain limitations, a rebuttable presumption that the PTSD is related to work exposures.

There are limitations, however.  The PTSD is not allowable if it is related to disciplinary action, work evaluation, job transfer, layoff, demotion, termination, or similar action taken in good faith by an employer.  There is also a requirement that in order for the presumption to apply, individuals hired after the effective date of the statute submit to a pre-employment psychological exam if one is provided by the employer.

The effective date of this law is June 8, 2018.

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