An Act to Amend the Workers’ Compensation Act
Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick, enacts as follows:
1 The Workers’ Compensation Act, chapter W-13 of the Revised Statutes, 1973, is amended by adding after section 7 the following:
Presumption respecting post-traumatic stress disorder
7.1( 1) The following definitions apply in this section.
“emergency response worker” means a firefighter, a paramedic or a police officer. (intervenant d’urgence)
“firefighter” means a firefighter as defined in the Firefighters’ Compensation Act. (pompier)
“paramedic” means a person whose name is entered in the register kept pursuant to paragraph 10(1)(a) of An Act Respecting the Paramedic Association of New Brunswick. (travailleur paramédical)
“police officer” means a police officer as defined in the Police Act. (agent de police)
“post-traumatic stress disorder” means post-traumatic stress disorder as that condition is described in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association. (état de stress post-traumatique)
“psychiatrist” means a psychiatrist as defined in the Mental Health Act. (psychiatre)
“psychologist” means an individual who is a member of the College of Psychologists of New Brunswick and holds a licence issued under The College of Psychologists Act or an individual who is practising as a psychologist outside New Brunswick who is recognized as a psychologist by the licensing body of the jurisdiction in which that person practises. (psychologue)
7.1( 2) Subject to this section, if an emergency response worker is diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder by a psychiatrist or psychologist, it shall be presumed, unless the contrary is shown, that the post-traumatic stress disorder arose out of and in the course of the worker’s employment in response to a traumatic event or a series of traumatic events to which the worker was exposed in carrying out the worker’s duties as an emergency response worker.
7.1( 3) A worker is entitled to be paid compensation under this Act if
(a) the worker
( i) is an emergency response worker or was an emergency response worker on or after the day this section comes into force, and
( ii) is or was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder by a psychiatrist or psychologist; and
(b) for the worker who
( i) is an emergency response worker at the time the worker claims compensation under this Act, the diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder was made by a psychiatrist or psychologist on or after the day this section comes into force, or
( ii) ceases to be an emergency response worker on or after a day this section comes into force, the diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder was made by a psychiatrist or psychologist no later than 24 months after the day on which the worker ceases to be an emergency response worker.
7.1( 4) An emergency response worker who is entitled to benefits under this Act for post-traumatic stress disorder is entitled to receive treatment by a psychiatrist or psychologist who is familiar with the research concerning treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.