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Research Points to Effective Treatment for First Responder PTSD

August 31st, 2020 at 11:56 am

IL workers comp lawyer, IL PTSD attorney, First responders, including police officers, EMTs, and firefighters, experience dangerous, stressful, and traumatic situations on a regular basis during the course of their work, and psychiatric research shows that this comes with a greater risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In fact, some studies indicate a PTSD prevalence of around 30 percent for first responders compared to a rate closer to 10 percent for the general population. Many first responders require mental health treatment for their PTSD, which can often be covered through workers’ compensation benefits.

A Four-Phase Treatment Process for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

In a 2018 study published in the Harvard Review of Psychiatry, researchers examined the effectiveness of a four-phase program for treating PTSD for first responders. The phases are:

  1. Diagnostic assessment: In this phase, mental health professionals seek to understand a patient’s symptoms including nightmares, flashbacks, substance abuse, and trouble sleeping, as well as the patient’s history, concurrent medical conditions, and ability to function. This allows for the development of a treatment plan tailored to the patient’s needs.
  2. Symptom stabilization and skills training: This phase can include inpatient care for patients at risk for self-harm, as well as training in self-care, safety planning, distress tolerance, resilience, and emotional regulation, which can help patients manage the symptoms of PTSD.
  3. Trauma-focused processing: In this phase, patients undergo treatments including cognitive processing therapy and prolonged exposure, which help them manage their reactions to stimuli associated with their traumatic experiences.
  4. Consolidation and aftercare: In this phase, patients focus on self-assessment and maintenance of their progress, as well as the management of new stressors in their work and the rebuilding of social and work relationships.

The researchers concluded that treatment throughout these phases often leads to positive strides for patients, but that the treatment of PTSD can be an ongoing process that requires long-term maintenance, and sometimes a return to an earlier phase.

Pursuing Compensation for PTSD Treatment

If you are a first responder coping with PTSD, you may find it reassuring to know that treatment is available. However, it is also important to ensure that you can cover the expenses of your treatment through workers’ compensation. An attorney can work with you to obtain testimony from mental health professionals, family members, and friends who can attest to the impact of PTSD on your life and your need for treatment so that you can present a strong case for the full amount you need.

Contact a Cook County Workers’ Compensation Attorney

At the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio, we know how much first responders give of themselves in service to their communities, and we want to help you get the treatment you need to maintain a high quality of life and continue performing your job to the best of your ability. Contact a Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer today at 630-574-2288 to request a free consultation.

 

Source:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6624844/#:~:text=EMDR%20has%20been%20studied%20as,with%20the%20first%2Dresponder%20population.

What Benefits Can Be Covered By Illinois Workers’ Compensation?

August 17th, 2020 at 9:33 pm

work-injuryMany occupations carry some level of risk of injury or illness for the people who hold them, and the state of Illinois has a workers’ compensation program in place to provide for employees who become ill or injured as a result of their jobs. If you are one of these employees, you can take solace in the fact that relief is available, but when you are already dealing with injuries it can be difficult to understand what your workers’ compensation benefits will cover and how much you can expect to receive.

Payment Included Under Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Illinois workers’ compensation accounts for a range of expenses incurred as a result of your work-related injuries or illness. Depending on the severity and nature of your injuries, you can expect to receive compensation for some or all of the following:

  • Medical expenses: If you are awarded workers’ compensation benefits, your employer should cover any medical expenses that you can prove were necessary as a result of your work-related injury. This may include emergency treatment, surgery, medication, rehabilitation, and long-term care.
  • Lost wages: If your injury or illness prevents you from working for at least three days, this is considered temporary total incapacity, and your employer should make weekly payments for as long as your incapacity lasts. The payment amount is usually two-thirds of your average weekly wages, and it can increase if you have a spouse or children.
  • Mental illness treatment: If you can demonstrate that a work-related incident caused or exacerbated a mental illness such as post-traumatic stress disorder, workers’ compensation benefits can also cover medication and therapy to treat your condition.
  • Disability: If your injury results in permanent partial or total disability that prevents you from returning to work at all or at full capacity, you are eligible to receive additional weekly compensation until death or throughout the duration of your disability.
  • Scarring and disfigurement: Workers’ compensation may include additional benefits if your injury results in permanent scarring on a visible part of your body, such as your head, neck, arms, or legs.

When a work-related incident causes an employee’s death, eligible benefits may also be paid to the employee’s spouse or dependents to compensate for their loss.

Contact an Illinois Workers’ Compensation Attorney

When you are suffering from a work-related injury or illness, you should not have to handle the stress of figuring out your workers’ compensation benefits on your own. An experienced attorney can help you gather evidence of your injuries and their causes and build a claim to seek all of the compensation you deserve. Contact the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio at 630-574-2288 for a free consultation with a Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer who will treat you with compassion and respect.

 

Sources:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2430&ChapterID=68

https://www.illinoislegalaid.org/legal-information/understanding-workers-compensation-benefits

How Long Can I Collect Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

July 16th, 2020 at 11:06 pm

IL job injury attorney, Illinois workers comp lawyerAn injury can result in pain and suffering, a heap of medical bills, and/or other damages. To help those who have suffered an injury stay afloat, the state of Illinois passed the Illinois Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Diseases Act. Due to the complexity of the bill and the nature of the injury suffered, it is important to consult with a workers’ compensation attorney.

An Overview

Workers’ compensation is a system of the state law that requires employers to pay or have insurance that pays for any injuries that result while on the job. If you have suffered a work-related injury, you are most likely covered under workers’ compensation as long as you are an employee. Those covered include:

  • Full  and part-time employees
  • Minors
  • Undocumented immigrant workers

In order to be eligible for benefits, you must establish the injury happened as a result of your employment and occurred during working hours.

Workers’ Compensation Categories

The amount of time an injured worker may collect benefits for depends on the severity of the injury. Within the Illinois Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Diseases Act, an injury can fall into one of four categories:

  1. Temporary partial disability: TPD includes those who sustained a work-related injury that only temporarily limits their ability to work.
  2. Temporary total disability: TTD pertains to cases in which a worker is disabled for a period of time, but is expected to recover and return to work. The length of compensation solely depends on the length of time away from work.
  3. Permanent partial disability: Similar to permanent total disability, permanent partial disability incorporates an extended period of benefits. However, some work must still be performed. The benefits earned may replace the ones that were previously lost, even though additional ones may be gained.
  4. Permanent total disability: Permanent total disability refers to those who are no longer able to return to work whatsoever. Indefinite benefits will provide on behalf of the inability to work.

The amount of benefits you receive can depend on your average weekly wage at the time of the injury.

Contact an Illinois Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today

If you have suffered a work-related injury, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact a Chicago workers’ compensation attorney from the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio, and allow us to calculate your eligibility and the level of benefits you deserve. Call our office at 630-574-2288 to schedule your free consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2430&ChapterID=68

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