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  • Summary date: Apr 3 2019 - View Summary

    Adds to the enumerated occupational diseases covered under the Workers' Compensation Act set forth in GS 97-53 and provides specific rules applicable to first responders. Defines first responder to mean a law enforcement officer, firefighter, or an emergency medical technician or paramedic employed by State or local government, or a volunteer firefighter meeting the requirement of GS 58-84-5(3) (concerning local firefighters' relief funds). Establishes that posttraumatic stress disorder (disorder), as specified, suffered by a first reponder without other injury is a compensable occupational disease that arises out of employment as a first responder and is due to causes and conditions characteristic to a particular trade, occupation, process, or employment. Requires (1) the disorder have resulted from the first responder acting within the course of his or her employment and (2) the first responder to be examined and subsequently diagnosed with the disorder by a licensed psychiatrist who is an authorized treating physician and finds the disorder is due to one or more of enumerated traumatic events, such as seeing a deceased minor or directly witnessing the death of a minor. Requires the disorder to be demonstrated by clear and convincing medical evidence. Establishes that the time for notice of injury or death in cases of the disorder is measured from the later of one of the qualifying traumatic events listed or the manifestation of the disorder. Requires claims under this new provision to be properly noticed within 52 weeks after the qualifying event. Requires that an employing agency of a first responder to provide educational training related to mental health awareness, prevention, mitigation, and treatment. Defines directly witnessing, as the term is used in the enumerated qualifying events. Effective July 1, 2019.