WORKERS’ COMPENSATION--PTSD HOUSE BILL 17-1229

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION--PTSD HOUSE BILL 17-1229

Many workers who respond in emergency situations are subject to horrible incidents on a regular basis. This law helps them receive compensation for that trauma and actively recognizes the severity of PTSD. HOUSE BILL 17-1229 - C.R.S. § 8-41-301, as amended, allows workers to claim workers’ compensation coverage for PTSD in a limited set of circumstances, based on repeated exposure to violent incidents. It also retains the statute’s existing requirement that, outside the few exceptions that apply primarily to peace officers and first responders, mental impairment coverage is implicated only when an incident is outside a worker’s usual experience. To qualify for mental impairment benefits under the amended statute, the worker must be diagnosed with PTSD by a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist following exposure to one or more of the following events:

  • The worker is the subject of an attempt by another person to cause the worker serious bodily injury or death through the use of deadly force, and the worker reasonably believes the worker is the subject of the attempt;
  • The worker visually witnesses a death, or the immediate aftermath of the death, of one or more people as a result of a violent event; or
  • The worker repeatedly visually witnesses the serious bodily injury, or the immediate aftermath of the serious bodily injury, of one or more people as the result of the intentional act of another person or an accident.
  • The act applies to injuries sustained on or after its effective date, July 1, 2018.