Can Philadelphia First Responders Get Workers’ Compensation for Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder?

August 16, 2016

First responders are the public employees who willingly step into the line of fire to protect their cities and towns from crime, natural disasters, fires and other dangerous situations that threaten life and safety. While they understand that the job is a dangerous one when they sign up, sometimes situations occur on the job that cause even brave first-responders to suffer trauma that impacts their ability to do their jobs.

According to the National Institutes of Health, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a disorder that develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, scary or dangerous event. People who have PTSD may feel stressed and fearful as if they are reliving a past traumatic event even when they are not in danger in the present moment. While not everyone who experiences a traumatic event will get PTSD, some people develop symptoms which begin within three months of the event, or the symptoms can emerge years later. Some people with PTSD recover within six months. Others have severe symptoms that interfere with work and relationships and can become chronic. The disorder must be diagnosed by a psychiatrist or psychologist.

Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms

  • People who have PTSD may display some of the following symptoms:
  • Flashbacks that cause them to re-live the traumatic event
  • Nightmares
  • Frightening thoughts
  • People who are suffering from PTSD may need to stay away from people, places and events that remind them of the original traumatic experience
  • They may also try to avoid thoughts or feelings that remind them of the event

While their injury is very real to the person suffering, it can sometimes be challenging to get a workers’ compensation claim approved for PTSD with no accompanying physical injuries. If you witnessed a tragic event such as a violent murder or a gruesome injury while doing your job as a first-responder, and the resulting trauma is keeping you from being able to do your work safely, you may be able to qualify for workers’ compensation in Philadelphia. Workers’ compensation includes partial wage-replacement disability payment, covered medical expenses and payment for permanent disabilities caused by a workplace injury or occupational disease.

Work with a Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorney

Because getting approval for workers’ compensation for PTSD may be a bit more complicated than for a routine workplace injury, you may want to consider hiring a Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorney from the law offices of Larry Pitt & Associates to represent your interests in the event of a dispute.

If the trauma of witnessing or being part of a significant, traumatic experience as a first-responder causes PTSD which does not allow them to safely do their job, workers’ compensation is there to make sure that they can take the time to rest and heal and get treatment for a terrible ailment.

The Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorneys of Larry Pitt & Associates can help when you have suffered a workplace injury. Please contact us at 888.PITT.LAW to schedule your appointment. We proudly serve Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties.