December 4, 2018
Presumptive Coverage for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder for All Workers Covered by the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Act
Amendments to the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Act to provide presumptive coverage for work-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for all workers covered under the act will be introduced for second reading in the House of Assembly today.
The changes if passed, would come into effect as of July 1, 2019, and mean that a worker who experiences a traumatic event or multiple events at work will be presumed to have developed their diagnosed PTSD as a result of their work.
The diagnosis must be made by a psychiatrist or registered psychologist using the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
This progressive legislation would simplify the claim process and allow the workers’ compensation system to help injured workers receive the assistance they need earlier. This will lead to better outcomes in improving the worker’s overall health and well-being as well as options for returning to work when appropriate.
WorkplaceNL’s injury fund is fully-funded at 131.6 per cent, as of December 31, 2017. The cost of presumptive PTSD coverage will be reflected in employer assessment rates over time. There will be no impact on the 2019 assessment rates.
These legislative changes deliver on commitments in The Way Forward to deliver better services and better outcomes for residents. The Way Forward outlines all actions the Provincial Government is taking to achieve a strong, diversified province with a high standard of living, and can be viewed at thewayforward.gov.nl.ca.Quotes
“With this new legislation, our government is recognizing the impacts that a workplace can have on any worker, in any occupation. Presumptive coverage for post-traumatic stress disorder will benefit many individuals who may have previously suffered in silence. We are not only recognizing the existence of PTSD in the workplace through this legislation, but also furthering the dialogue on mental health awareness.”
Honourable Dwight Ball
Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador
“Our government continues to modernize its approach to work-related mental health injuries. Presumptive coverage is a progressive response to today’s workplaces. With this change, we are helping workers access wage loss and health care benefits when they develop PTSD, following workplace trauma. It is important we continue to help employers build supportive environments to help reduce the risk of mental health injuries at work.”
Honourable Sherry Gambin-Walsh
Minister Responsible for WorkplaceNL
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2018 12 04 12:15 p.m.