CHARLESTON, W.Va. — For the fifth time in as many years, a bill to permit first responder agencies to offer workers’ compensation benefits for post-traumatic stress disorder is heading to the West Virginia House of Delegates floor.
House Bill 3107 unanimously passed the Judiciary Committee on Thursday after passing the fire departments and emergency medical services subcommittee Wednesday. The bill permits agencies like fire, police or emergency services departments to offer workers’ compensation benefits to their first responders.
The bill, championed by Del. Chad Lovejoy, D-Cabell, passed the House last year but died in the Senate. This year’s bill differs in that it is not mandatory that departments offer this benefit. There have been fears that smaller departments may not be able to afford the added benefit, so HB 3107 allows them to decide if it is right for them.
Currently, workers’ compensation is only available if this PTSD diagnosis is connected to a bodily injury…