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Okla. governor signs law making LEOs suffering from PTSD eligible for workers’ compensation

Until the law goes into effect in January, workers’ compensation claims must be tied to a physical injury on duty

Kevin Stitt

FILE - Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt answers a question while taking part in a panel discussion during a Republican Governors Association conference, Nov. 16, 2022, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)

Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP

By Joanna Putman

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt has signed a bill into law that will enable law enforcement officers to claim workers’ compensation for post-traumatic stress disorder, KOCO stated.

This legislation, known as Senate Bill 1457, recognizes PTSD from various traumatic events such as deadly crashes, domestic violence cases and homicides, which previously had to be linked to a physical injury for compensation eligibility, according to the report.

“I think it’s a big deal for first responders,” Mark Nelson, president of the Oklahoma Fraternal Order of Police stated. “Used to be it had to come from company physical injury. No longer is that the case. An unforeseen injury, or invisible injury sometimes it’s referred to, might be more impactful or harmful than a physical injury.”

Nelson praised the law for removing the stigma associated with mental health issues among first responders and providing them with a viable treatment option while emphasizing that the move should have come sooner.

“I wanna be grateful, but it was definitely past due for this for Oklahoma to come on board with this,” he remarked. “But we’re grateful for the process it had to go through and the ultimate outcome.”

The law is set to take effect in January, according to the report.