State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) joined colleagues from the Ohio House in sponsorship of House Bill (HB) 308, which would make any peace officer, firefighter or emergency medical worker diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) eligible for compensation and benefits from the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC), regardless of whether he/she suffers an accompanying physical injury. The bill passed the House last week with bipartisan support.

Under current law, state employees are ineligible for BWC benefits when PTSD or other diagnosed mental illness alone is the basis for their claim; these employees must prove an additional or accompanying physical injury for their claim to be considered for approval.

HB 308 would direct BWC to approve claims made by specified public safety personnel in response to major traumatic events or other work-related situations that contribute to chronic stress. The bill would also remove the current one-year limit on PTSD services covered by BWC.

After passing the House, the bill now goes to the Ohio Senate for consideration.