Guest Post – Meuser Law Office P.A. “PTSD IS Covered Under Minnesota PERA”

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a very serious and very common illness that is suffered by many of our Minnesota police officers. In our practice at Meuser Law Office, P.A., we are seeing more and more police officers who have experienced extreme critical incidence and very traumatic experiences that have resulted in the development of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Post-traumatic stress disorder IS covered under Minnesota PERA Police and Fire Plan Duty Disability benefits. It is also covered under the Minnesota MSRS State Patrol Plan disability benefits. And now since October 1, 2013, PTSD is also covered by Minnesota workers’ compensation in many instances.

What this means is that individuals suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder are treated the same as an individual suffering from a physical injury for purposes of workers’ compensation. We at Meuser Law Office, P.A. are thrilled that our police officers who are experiencing PTSD are now entitled to the same benefits that somebody would be entitled to by virtue of a physical injury.

Since the law changed, unfortunately, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding this area of law. Some work comp carriers appear to be accepting these claims, and some work comp carriers appear to be denying all these claims. Sit down with us to learn more about work comp and how it covers post-traumatic stress disorder.

There are various organizations in Minnesota dedicated to combatting PTSD issues in police officers and other first responders, here are just a few: 

The Association of Training Officers of Minnesota (ATOM) recently offered a course titled The Effects of Trauma in the Police Profession. Richard Peterson was the instructor and the course, which was available to members and non-members, allowed the licensed peace officers within the confines of the State of Minnesota to gain awareness of the of the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder. The course also dealt with the proper way to intervene into the life of a fellow police officer who might be suffering from PTSD.

The Minnesota Association of Women Police (MAWP) is currently working on a special project titled: “Reducing the Stigma of PTSD in the Emergency Response Community.” Deputy Marcie Wacker is researching areas such as:
•Laws, regulations, or emerging legislation that enhances services to responders
•Ways to increase awareness of available information and resources
•Resources and interventions that are currently available in law enforcement

Backing the Blue Line is a non-profit organization composed of police wives dedicated to the support of the law enforcement community in Minnesota. Reg Chapman with WCCO TV recently shared a story about a retired Golden Valley police officer who was injured in the line of duty in 1972 and his experience with PTSD. See how Backing the Blue Line is helping him and his family today.

Meuser Law Office is one of the few workers’ compensation law firms in the state of Minnesota that also handles PERA and MSRS disability claims. We’ve successfully represented hundreds of police officers and firefighters throughout the state for both workers’ compensation and PERA/MSRS disability claims. Sitting down with us for a consultation to learn more about your potential claims is a lot like financial planning. We can explain what rights you have and make recommendations to you in terms of how to best protect your rights to those benefits. The knowledgeable attorneys at Meuser Law Office, P.A. can help make the process easier to navigate. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation by calling 1-877-746-5680.