Martin M. Looney

Senate President Pro Tempore

Martin M. Looney

An Advocate for Us

June 2, 2023

Looney Applauds House Passage of Workers’ Comp Coverage for PTSI in Any Employee

HARTFORD – Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven) today applauded House passage of a bill that will extend certain workers’ comp benefits now in place for police, firefighters and others who witness tragic events on the job to any employee on any job who witnesses similar tragedies.

Senate Bill 913, “AN ACT EXPANDING WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COVERAGE FOR POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS INJURIES FOR ALL EMPLOYEES” passed the state House today on a bipartisan 104-44 vote and now heads to the Governor for consideration.

“The House’s passage of this bill marks another step forward to provide critical mental health coverage for Connecticut workers,” said Senator Looney. “This legislation recognizes the profound impact that witnessing tragedies can have on an individual’s mental and emotional health, and it provides a vital safety net for those affected. To continue to limit coverage for PTSI to workers who have suffered a physical injury would reject the scientific and medical truth that emotional/psychological trauma is a real injury and should be compensated if it results from a workplace event. Thank you to Speaker Ritter and House Labor Chair Sanchez for prioritizing and passing this bill.”

Current state law generally limits eligibility for PTSI benefits to certain first responders (e.g., police officers, firefighters, emergency medical service personnel, and emergency 9-1-1 dispatchers) who are diagnosed with post-traumatic stress injuries (PTSI) as a direct result of certain qualifying events (e.g., witnessing someone’s death) that may occur in the line of duty.

Under S.B. 913 — if it is signed into law by Governor Lamont — beginning on January 1, 2024, eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits for PTSI will cover any employee in Connecticut who is already covered by the workers’ compensation law; the workers’ compensation system in Connecticut covers nearly all employees regardless of their occupation, business size, employment duration, or the number of hours worked per day.

Under S.B. 913, all employees in Connecticut would be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if a mental health professional examines them and diagnoses PTSI as a direct result of an event that occurs in their course of employment in which they: view a deceased minor; witness (a) someone’s death or an incident involving someone’s death, (b) an injury to someone who then dies before or upon admission to a hospital as a result of the injury, or (c) a traumatic physical injury that results in the loss of a vital body part or a vital body function that results in the victim’s permanent disfigurement; or carry, or have physical contact with and treat, an injured person who then dies before or upon admission to a hospital.