Cybersecdn- Georgia’s legislature is considering a bill that would significantly enhance support for first responders grappling with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Spearheaded by Gwinnett County police officer Ashley Wilson, this proposed legislation seeks to extend worker’s compensation to cover PTSD without the prerequisite of a concurrent physical injury.
Historically, Georgia’s first responders could only claim PTSD-related compensation if accompanied by a physical injury. However, this new bill emerges as a beacon of hope, especially for individuals like Officer Wilson, who faced substantial challenges in obtaining treatment after witnessing her partner’s tragic death in 2018.
The bill proposes to cover therapy costs and ensures three years of partial salary protection for first responders necessitating time off for PTSD recovery. This initiative could significantly reduce the financial strain experienced by many in these roles. Officer Wilson herself incurred about $20,000 in out-of-pocket expenses for her PTSD treatment, underscoring the bill’s potential impact on alleviating financial burdens.
Gaining bipartisan support, the bill builds upon the foundation of House Bill 1013, a mental health and parity bill passed the previous year. Its alignment with existing legislative frameworks enhances its chances of successfully passing through committee stages and becoming law.