Mental Injuries Could Lead to Work Comp for First Responders in Nebraska

April 8, 2010

Volunteer firefighters and other first-responders to emergencies in Nebraska who experience severe mental trauma are closer to getting workers’ compensation.

After hours of sometimes heated debate, lawmakers on April 6 gave second-round approval to a measure critics say could be an unfunded mandate on local government.

Supporters say providing these benefits is a small price to pay for first-responders that often work for free and respond to unsettling scenes that can scar them for life.

Sen. Steve Lathrop of Omaha introduced the bill and estimated just two claims a year costing a total of less than $8,000 would be paid out.

To qualify, workers would have to suffer mental injuries caused by extraordinary work conditions.

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