In 2013, Minnesota became one of the few states to permit workers’ compensation benefits to be paid to workers who suffered post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) related to their job duties. Since then, PTSD has become one of the top expenses within the state’s workers’ comp system, resulting in $18.6 million in claims by the end of 2019. Altogether, PTSD claims represent about 18% of all workers’ comp expenses, making it the second-most costly issue for the state.
Authorities in the state are taking notice. They recognize that, without intervention, many more public safety workers, such as police officers and firefighters, could end up needing to file a claim. Not only are the claims a financial drain on the system, but the human cost of the problem is also an issue.
Enter the new “tactical guardian program.” While still in an early phase of development, the tactical guardian program is designed to give police officers and other public safety workers assistance in meeting their emotional, financial, fitness, spiritual and nutritional needs so that they can better cope with the stressors of their occupation.
The goal is not just to prevent PTSD from becoming a problem for a lot of workers by providing additional support services where they’re needed. It’s also designed to lessen the severity of the PTSD that is experienced by workers by helping them find the resources to bounce back.
These changes reflect the growing understanding of the nature of job-related PTSD, especially among those who are regularly exposed to devastating events and emergencies. There’s finally some recognition that PTSD sufferers need assistance that goes beyond money.
If you are suffering from work-related PTSD and your workers’ comp claim was denied, find out more about how you can fight back.