Different jobs expose people to different workplace dangers. People who work in retail could get hurt when customers become violent with each other during a holiday sale or if there’s an armed robbery. A pizza delivery driver could get hurt in a car crash.
First responders like police officers, firefighters and paramedics often have to deal with people at their worst or after something terrible has happened.
Trauma is a known job risk for emergency responders
First responders can find themselves the victims of crime, which can lead to severe trauma. They can also develop mental health issues because they witnessed the pain or death of another person. Even the aftermath of a serious car crash can have mental health implications for a first responder.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be a very disabling mental health condition. Will workers’ compensation in New Jersey help employees who develop PTSD because of their job?
New Jersey supports its first responders
Not every state recognizes the need for first responders to get support after a trauma. However, New Jersey has very clear practices for when someone experiences trauma at work and then develops PTSD as a result. As long as the condition is a clear result of something traumatic that happened on the job, a New Jersey worker can ask for compensation due to PTSD.
First responders aren’t the only ones who benefit from New Jersey’s coverage of PTSD under workers’ compensation insurance. People in any industry who experienced trauma on the job could qualify for workers’ compensation benefits that cover both some of their lost wages and the cost of the medical care that they need to heal mentally after their workplace trauma.