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Lawmakers in Connecticut are considering a bill that would change the way police officers and other emergency personnel are covered by workers' compensation, and the law enforcement unions are urging them to pass it. Both local and state police support the change.

The bill would provide workers' compensation coverage for emotional injuries that officers suffer in the line of duty. Though it would not be limited to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD is one of the most well-known examples of these types of injuries.

An Overdue Change

Those who support the bill say that it's overdue and that the coverage is badly needed. A public hearing last week gave them a chance to show their support, and many officers turned up to back the bill. News conferences are planned by the Connecticut State Police Union and Council 4 AFSCE members to drum up even more support.

There has been push-back from those who don't want the bill passed into law. Their main concern appears to be the financial side of the proceedings, saying that expensive medical claims for PTSD and other emotional issues could be so costly that the towns and cities in Connecticut simply can't afford it.

Common Issues with PTSD

The expanded coverage could help pay for treatments for a vast array of injuries that, though not always as obvious as physical injuries, can require professional assistance. According to the Mayo Clinic, common PTSD symptoms include flashbacks and recurring memories, depression, nightmares and distressing dreams, further emotional distress when other events trigger these memories, an inability to talk about the event, mood changes, outbursts of anger, and much more. PTSD has even been linked to suicide.

Future Changes

It is unclear if the bill will pass and become a law, but it is obvious that it has strong backing from the unions that would be directly impacted. It's important for those working in law enforcement and related industries to keep an eye on the bill in the future, as it being passed into law could drastically expand workers' compensation rights across the state. Even if this change was not retroactive, it could alter financial compensation and available services for future cases.

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