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Introduction

During the 2023 session, the Minnesota Legislature passed recommendations from the Workers' Compensation Advisory Council (WCAC) in House File 2988. The law included a requirement for the Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) to conduct a study to identify systemic or regulatory changes to improve the experience and outcomes of employees with work-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). DLI has contracted with the Midwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety at the University of Minnesota to complete the study, which is due Aug. 1, 2025. The recommendations from the study will help WCAC and the Minnesota Legislature with potential changes to current laws and rules related to PTSD in workers' compensation.

At a minimum, the study must:

  1. identify evidence-based methods and best practices for early detection and treatment of PTSD;

  2. review models, including those used in other jurisdictions and systems, for delivering mental health wellness training or employee assistance programs, treatment for PTSD and benefits related to PTSD (review must include outcomes and cost considerations);

  3. identify any programs in other jurisdictions with effective prevention, timely and effective medical intervention or high return-to-work rates for employees with work-related PTSD;

  4. review the definition of PTSD provided in Minnesota Statutes, section 176.011, subdivision 15, paragraph (d), and compare it to the definitions in other jurisdictions; and

  5. consider the list of occupations subject to the rebuttable presumption in Minn. Stat., section 176.011, subd. 15, paragraph (e).

Informational meetings

The University of Minnesota research team will be hosting informational meetings to present information about the PTSD study. The meetings are tentatively scheduled for April 24 at 9:30 a.m. and April 29 at 2 p.m. More information about the meetings will be available soon.

Feedback

DLI and the University of Minnesota welcome your input about the PTSD study in the workers' compensation system. To offer feedback, complete the Workers' Compensation PTSD Policy form. Your feedback may be provided to the research team for review and consideration.

Additional information, updates

For additional information or to submit comments about the study, email Emily Streier, DLI Office of General Counsel, and Katherine Drake, DLI Research and Data Analytics, at ptsdstudy.dli@state.mn.us. Comments may be provided to the University of Minnesota research team for review and consideration in the final report.

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Police benefit adequacy study

During the 2022 session, the Minnesota Legislature passed Senate File 1547, a bill requiring the Department of Labor and Industry to complete a study of police disability benefit adequacy with the assistance of the Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA). DLI partnered with researchers at the Institute for Urban and Regional Infrastructure Finance from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota to work on completing the study.

The study considered workers' compensation benefits and duty disability and retirement benefits from the PERA Police and Fire plan and the adequacy of these benefits for Minnesota police officers.