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Georgia Bill Offering PTSD Benefits to First Responders Awaits Governor’s Signature

The Georgia General Assembly has passed a legislative proposal that will provide disability insurance for first responders diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

Following unanimous approval in the state Senate, the bill is poised to mandate local governments to implement insurance schemes providing a one-time disbursement of $3,000 to diagnosed first responders.

The amount initially proposed was $10,000 but was later reduced to $3,000.

Credits: DepositPhotos

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An existing benefits program that provides relief for firefighters suffering from cancer was the inspiration behind the bill. 

Similar laws exist in many other states as well.

The current legislation was problematic because there was no compensation offered if there was no physical injury involved.

Credits: DepositPhotos

The bill was championed by Rep. Devan Seabaugh and his colleagues.

It also provides for monthly payments equivalent to 60% of the affected responder’s monthly wage, capped at $5,000, for a duration of 36 months.

The idea is to afford first responders some payment while they can take leave to recoup from trauma.

Credits: DepositPhotos

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Named in honor of Ashley Wilson, a police officer from Gwinnett, Georgia, the bill received strong support in the state House of Representatives earlier this year. 

This marks a significant milestone after similar attempts stalled in the legislature over the last three years.

The approved bill includes a provision for the periodic reevaluation of beneficiaries by a diagnostician chosen by the insurer to assess their fitness to return to duty. 

Credits: DepositPhotos

Once these evaluations find that the person has sufficiently recovered, the payments shall be stopped.

One of the major insurers interested in the program appears to be MetLife.

Additionally, the legislation mandates annual data collection and exempts the insurance premiums from the state’s premium tax, pending the governor’s endorsement to become law.

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Malik is a skilled writer with a passion for news and current events. With their keen eye for detail, they provide insightful perspectives on the latest happenings. Stay informed and engaged!