Presumptive Coverage of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as an Occupational Disease
Public Hearing on Proposed Rules
Friday, January 13, 2023
To join on your computer or mobile app (Zoom):
Meeting ID: 936 165 5337
To join by phone (audio only):
1-253-215-8782 US (Tacoma)
Find your local number: https://lni-wa-gov.zoom.us/u/kdFrdfe0fg
The hearing will start at 9:00 a.m. and continue until all oral comments are received.
L&I encourages the submittal of written comments, due by 5:00 p.m. on January 13, 2023.
Public hearings held virtually have proven effective in allowing greater public access, eliminating the burden of physical travel, and maintaining public safety. Accordingly, this public hearing will not be held in person.
The purpose of this rulemaking is to amend WAC 296-14-300, as necessary to implement legislation passed in 2018 and 2020. WAC 296-14-300 provides for coverage of mental conditions or mental disabilities that specify pain primarily as a psychiatric symptom or that are characterized by excessive or abnormal thoughts, feelings, behaviors or neurological symptoms are not clinically related to occupational exposure. PTSD qualifies as such a medical condition and is covered as an occupational disease for certain industries. Substitute Senate Bill 6214 (SSB 6214) (Chapter 264, Laws of 2018) and Substitute House Bill 2758 (SHB 2758) (Chapter 234, Laws of 2020) resulted in updates to RCW 51.08.142 and RCW 51.32.185, and added a new section to chapter 51.08 RCW. This rulemaking proposes to amend existing rules conflicting with the law and clarify coverage of PTSD under workers’ compensation. SSB 6214 provides a prima facie presumption for certain firefighters and law enforcement officers covered under worker’ compensation for occupational disease PTSD as provided by RCW 51.08.142 and RCW 51.32.185. SHB 2758 added public safety telecommunicators as a job class where PTSD may be considered as an occupational disease as provided by RCW 51.08.142. This rulemaking adds those specified industries and presumption into department rules on industrial insurance coverage.