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Court Rules 9/11 First Responder Can Keep PTSD Workers’ Comp Benefits

A New York appellate court recently ruled that a New York police officer will be allowed to keep workers’ compensation benefits he was awarded for treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder from working as a responder after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

At the time of the attacks, the officer, Richard Regan, was sent for six days from his regular job as an officer in Hornell, New York to New York City to help first responders in the rescue efforts. He began receiving treatment for PTSD symptoms when he was arrested and charged with a DUI in March 2010. He soon resigned from his job with the Geneva Police Department and filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits with Hornell.

The state workers’ compensation board determined that Regan qualified for the benefits, and the Hornell Police Department appealed the decision. However, the appellate court said that there was sufficient evidence that Regan assisted in the rescue efforts at Ground Zero and that there was credible evidence linking his PTSD to the time he spent in the rescue and recovery operations.

Regan is not alone — PTSD is among the most common long-term health problems suffered by first responders who worked at Ground Zero after the terrorist attacks. Most first responders suffering from PTSD were in denial and refused to seek therapy until they broke down, or like Regan, were arrested due to a substance issue.  It often requires some significant therapy and other types of treatment to be properly managed.

If you believe that a loved one suffers from PTSD as a result of working at or around Ground Zero after the 9/11 attacks, consult the dedicated New York injury attorneys at Barasch, McGarry, Salzman & Penson.  Medical treatment is available.  

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