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Florida Denies Pulse First Responder Workers’ Compensation Benefits For PTSD

A 12-year veteran police officer who was one of the first responders at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub is at odds with the State of Florida on his post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) workers’ compensation claim. He helped pull out 49 bodies after the terrorist attack at the club. Without an actual physical injury that initiates PTSD, Florida’s current workers’ compensation laws won’t cover it.

What is post traumatic stress disorder?

PTSD is a psychological disorder that affects individuals who have undergone or witnessed shocking emotional events like terrorist attacks. Many people who suffer from PTSD continue to be severely depressed for years after the traumatic event. Pursuant to Florida law, psychological trauma suffered while in the course of employment isn’t compensable unless it’s secondary to a recognized injury. That means a police officer can break his or her leg while chasing a suspect and be compensated for PTSD. The same police officer doesn’t get compensated for PTSD unless he hurts his back while helping to pull out 49 bodies from the site of a terrorist attack.

First responders suffer from PTSD

The officer returned to work two weeks after the attack, but he continued to have significant PTSD difficulties, so he took frequent days off. His vacation and sick days are now used up. He has been placed on paid leave, but how long that will last is unknown. Only five states recognize psychological trauma as a compensable injury under their workers’ compensation statutes, but more than 100,000 police officers are believed to suffer from it. That number obviously doesn’t contemplate firefighters or paramedics.

Evan Ostfeld is a Lauderdale Lakes workers’ compensation lawyer with extensive experience in the representation of people who have been injured in the course of their employment. If you are injured on the job, you are going to need answers to some very serious questions. What happens with your monthly bills? How will you be able to contribute to the support of your family? Ask Evan Ostfeld, and you’ll get straight answers. He challenges Florida law in order to protect the rights of people who have been injured at work, and he will aggressively pursue your workers’ compensation claim too. If you or somebody close to you have been injured at work or have suffered PTSD as a result of a traumatic event at your job, call 866-478-3968 for a free consultation and case evaluation. Injured workers deserve full and fair compensation.