NYC-Based First Responder Gets to Keep Workers Comp Benefits to Treat 9/11-Caused PTSD
After a long appeals process, a New York City first responder will, according to an appellate court, get to keep workers comp benefits to treat his on-going PTSD, which he developed due to his role in responding to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The Albany, New York state appellate court ruled in January that Richard A. Regan was entitled to keep his workers comp benefits to treat his post-traumatic stress disorder, thereby upholding a decision made by the New York State Worker’s Compensation Board.
After the 9/11 attacks in 2001, Regan reportedly went from his job as a police officer in Hornell, New York, to New York City, where he aided in first responder search and rescue efforts for six days.
Regan’s PTSD went unnoticed until March 2010, when he was arrested on DUI charges. Subsequently, he began receiving treatment for PTSD, resigned from employment as a police officer at the Geneva Police Department, and filed a claim with his original police department in Hornell for workers comp benefits to help cover his medical treatment.
Because Regan’s work at Ground Zero was part of his employment as a police officer in the Hornell police department, the New York workers comp board ruled that his medical needs were “arising out of and in the course of his employment.”
In October 2012, the workers comp board declined the City of Hornell Police Departments’ request for a full review, so they filed an appeal of Regan’s workers comp coverage. However, the appellate court found “uncontroverted testimony indicated that he supplied direct support and assistance to first responders engaged in rescue and recovery efforts at ground zero; thus, the Board’s determination … is supported by substantial evidence and will not be disturbed.”
“In order to obtain review or reconsideration, the movant must generally show that newly discovered evidence exists, that there has been a material change in condition, or that the Board improperly failed to consider the issues raised in the application for review in making its initial determination,” the ruling states.
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