Michigan workers’ comp lawyer discusses police officers and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
We have represented many police officers over the years. They are some of the hardest working folks and getting back to the job after a workplace injury is usually their number one priority. Unfortunately, many of them do not acknowledge when they are suffering from emotional trauma and just soldier on. Here is some information about PTSD in police officers and workers’ comp in Michigan.
The Mayo Clinic defines post-traumatic stress disorder as a mental health condition that is triggered by a terrifying event. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares, and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.
This psychiatric disorder does not show up on an x-ray and there is no test to show what a person is thinking or feeling. A mental health professional makes the diagnosis based upon signs and symptoms. Treatment options include psychotherapy and medications.
Police officers are especially vulnerable to PTSD because of the difficult jobs they perform, and the traumatic events witnessed. Many of them who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder refuse treatment out of feelings of duty, embarrassment, or shame. It is usually friends or family members who insist they get help. Post-traumatic stress disorder should never be ignored and help is available under workman’s comp.
Is PTSD in police officers covered under workers’ comp?
PTSD in police officers is covered under workers’ comp in Michigan. Available benefits include money for lost wages, medical care, and vocational rehabilitation. It does not matter who was at fault just that symptoms arose in the course and scope of employment.
The amount paid for lost wages should equal 80% of a police officer’s after-tax average weekly wage, subject to a state-wide maximum. This is calculated using the highest 39 paid weeks during the preceding 52 weeks. Overtime and discontinued fringe benefits should be included. Lost wages continue for the duration of disability.
Medical treatment should also be covered 100% without any co-payments or deductibles being owed by the police officer. This is an unlimited medical benefit, and it pays for life. Police officers who suffer from PTSD sometimes means they cannot return to their former jobs. Vocational rehabilitation is available to help with education, retraining, and career assistance.
Like benefits instead of workers’ comp
Some municipalities and villages offer police officers more than what workers’ comp pays. This could come in the form of 100% salary continuation or through a duty disability pension. Police officers can opt out of workers’ comp and accept these “like benefits.” It is important to explore all options before giving up workers’ comp benefits. Election of like benefits typically cannot be changed.
Disputed workers’ comp claims
Sadly, in Michigan, we do see workers’ comp claims for PTSD in police officers getting disputed. Departments will not honor work restrictions or authorize needed medical treatment. It is important to hire a workers’ comp lawyer to challenge any dispute.
Injured while on the job? Contact our lawyers for a free consultation
To speak with an experienced attorney about your workplace injury claim in Michigan, call us now, or fill out our contact form for a free consultation. There is absolutely no cost or obligation. We’re here for you.
Our attorneys have been exclusively helping injured workers in Michigan for more than 35 years. Our attorneys can help you better understand Michigan workers comp laws and what happens after someone has been hurt on the job. To see what our own clients have to say about the caring, compassion, and communication they received from us, you can read in their own words about their experience here on our testimonials page from clients we have helped.
Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (844) 201-9497 for a free consultation today.