Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik voted to advance the bipartisan Public Safety Officer Benefit Support Act (H.R. 6943), which she cosponsored.
This legislation would expand the Public Safety Officers' Benefits (PSOB) program to include coverage for public safety officers who die as a result of suicide or are disabled as a result of traumatic experiences. Currently, the PSOB provides disability relief to families of officers who died or who have been permanently disabled as a result of a physical injury.
“I have witnessed the brave work of our law enforcement officers and first responders across New York’s 21st District but know the risks do not end simply when they take off their uniform,” Stefanik said. “The importance of mental health resources for those who protect our communities is something that cannot be ignored, and I am proud to help pass legislation to provide first responders and their families with critical mental health support.”
The Public Safety Officer Support Act, introduced by Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA) and David Trone (D-MD), would also:
- Allow public safety officers to seek disability benefits for PTSD linked to severe trauma by directing the PSOB to designate work-related PTSD and acute stress disorders as a line of duty injury for eligible officers as well as those who are permanently disabled as a result of attempted suicide; and
- Allow families of public safety officers who die by trauma-linked suicide to apply for death benefits by directing the PSOB to presume that suicides are a result of job duties in certain traumatic circumstances where there is evidence that PTSD or acute stress disorder would be the cause of the injury.
Read full bill text here.