Frequently, Minnesota police officers, firefighters, and corrections officers worry that they may not be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits arising out of his or her employment because the critical incidents pre-date October 1, 2013. Due to the nature of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), classifying PTSD as a specific injury with a specific “exposure” date may be illogical, especially in cases involving police officers who participate in many traumatic events during the course and scope of their employment. The law changed in Minnesota on October 1, 2013. PTSD is now compensable as a strictly mental-mental injury. The date of injury in these cases are particularly important because the date of injury determines what benefits are available to injured employees.
PERA Duty Disability benefits and PERA Permanent Total Disability benefits entitle qualified members to 60% of the member’s average salary over his or her five highest-paid consecutive years of service, which is the equivalent to a retirement benefit based on 20 years of service. If members have in excess of 20 years of qualifying service he or she will receive an additional 3% for every year in excess of 20 years.