Firefighters have a noble occupation. Whether it’s saving people from burning buildings, damaged cars or overdoses, many put their time and lives on the line to assist their communities.
However, these daily acts of bravery can take a toll on their mental health. According to Reuters, nearly half of U.S. firefighters experience burnout and mental health problems that stem from long hours, lack of sleep and emotional trauma.
These factors can hurt them both personally and professionally, limiting their ability to remain present at home and on the front lines. Because of this, some firefighters may wonder if workers’ compensation could help them deal with their mental health issues.
Does workers’ comp cover mental health treatment?
Some people may think injuries received on the job must be physical to receive workers’ compensation. But that’s not always the case. In New Jersey, employers must provide compensation benefits to workers, no matter who is at fault and regardless if the injury is physical or mental.
However, those rules may differ for those who are volunteer firefighters, as many are independent contractors.
What kinds of services can firefighters get with workers’ comp?
Due to the trauma firefighters endure on the job, they can develop depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or addiction. Luckily, workers’ compensation can cover injuries stemming from new or preexisting conditions. Such benefits can give firefighters access to:
- Long-term paid leave from work
- Emotional therapy
- Prescription medications
- Other types of rehabilitation services
It’s better to apply for benefits sooner rather than later
Firefighters deal with a lot more in their occupation than most other Americans. Because of this, they must get the mental health care they need so they can continue to serve their communities. Applying for workers’ comp can be confusing and time-consuming. Luckily, firefighters can get the treatment they need with the help of a trusted legal partner.