WCB Nova Scotia is inviting stakeholders to participate in discussions about regulations regarding providing the benefit of presumption for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) for frontline or emergency response workers.
In Fall 2017, government made changes to the Workers’ Compensation Act of Nova Scotia to provide the benefit of presumption to police, paid and volunteer firefighters, paramedics, nurses, provincial and federal correctional officers, continuing care assistants and emergency dispatchers with post-traumatic stress disorder. This means it is presumed that a diagnosis of PTSD in these frontline or emergency response workers is work-related. The amendments will take effect in October 2018 to allow time for further stakeholder consultation on supporting regulations.
Nova Scotia’s Department of Labour and Advanced Education has asked WCB to lead this aspect of the consultation process to build on the initial work from 2017, and to identify the principles/criteria that could:
• Clarify the definitions of frontline and emergency response occupations so that those workers whose occupations include an expectation that they will be exposed to PTSD-inducing conditions in the regular course of their duties may receive the presumption. These criteria also may be helpful to define other occupations that could be added to the presumption over time;
• Identify the professions that are best positioned to diagnose and treat PTSD in a workers’ compensation context and where their ability, expertise and accessibility meet the needs of injured workers in Nova Scotia; and
• To clarify the timelines for eligibility of presumption.
Update May 28: Due to high demand, an additional session has been added for June 8 2018 from 8:30-11:30am.
Through this process, WCB will prepare information for government’s consideration as they develop PTSD regulations that will come into effect in October 2018. We look forward to working with you and hearing your thoughts.