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Nova Scotia to broaden PTSD benefits for first responders as of next week

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil arrives for a press conference in Halifax on Tuesday, April 10, 2018. The Canadian Press/Darren Calabrese

Nova Scotia first responders with post-traumatic stress disorder will have an easier time accessing workers’ compensation benefits beginning Oct. 26.

The province has eliminated a requirement that those in emergency response occupations must prove that a PTSD diagnosis is work-related.

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The updated Workers’ Compensation Act regulations, first unveiled last year, will clarify who is eligible for presumption and who can diagnose PTSD.

For a claim to be considered under the Act, PTSD must be diagnosed by a psychiatrist or registered psychologist.

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Eligible workers include police, paid and volunteer firefighters, paramedics, nurses, correctional officers, continuing care assistants, emergency-response dispatchers and sheriffs covered by the Workers’ Compensation Board.

The board says eligible workers with a PTSD diagnosis received on or after Oct. 26, 2013, can refile a claim even if they were denied benefits in the past.

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