Senator Victor Torres (D-Orlando) on Tuesday filed SB 1088 which amends Florida’s workers compensation law to allow first responders suffering from work related mental illnesses, like PTSD, to receive lost wages during their recovery and treatment.
“The least we can do for those who put their lives on the line every day to protect the citizens of this state is make sure they have the ability to get the treatment they need and provide for their families while they are recovering from any physical or mental illnesses,” said Senator Torres.
Under current law, in order for first responders to be eligible for lost wages while recovering from a mental disability, such as PTSD, it must also be accompanied by a physical injury. This bill simply clarifies language under the workers compensation statue and separates the mental injury from the requirement of being related to a physical injury.
Jessica Realin, whose husband Gerry is currently suffering from PTSD after responding to the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, FL last summer, praised the legislation. “On behalf of the First Responders of Florida, the spouses and families of First Responders and my beloved husband, Officer Gerry Realin, I want to thank Senator Victor Torres for filing SB 1088. This measure truly has the first responders in mind, and recognizes that they, too, deserve our support.”
Organizations announcing their support of Senator Torres’ legislation include:
- Florida Police Chief Association (FPCA)
- Fraternal Order of Police (FOP)
- Florida Sheriff Association (FSA)
- Police Benevolent Association (PBA)
- Florida Professional Firefighters (FPF)
- Florida State Firemen’s Association (FSFA)
- Florida Fire Chiefs Association (FFCA)