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PTSD coverage for first responders clears state Senate

HARTFORD  — The Connecticut Senate has approved legislation that will provide first responders with post-traumatic stress disorder benefits for up to one year.

Thursday’s unanimous vote comes about six years after proponents first tried to require Connecticut’s worker’s compensation laws to cover PTSD for first responders who witness a tragedy, such as the deadly Newtown school shooting in 2012.

The legislation stems from an agreement recently announced between the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities and unionized police and firefighters.

Under the agreement, a PTSD diagnosis must be made by a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist in accordance with national standards. A first responder must experience one of six qualifying events. The compromise does not provide permanent benefits.

The bill now awaits a vote in the state’s House of Representatives.

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