New Law will Allow Faster Access to Benefits and Timely Treatment

Sault Ste. Marie - Today, the Ontario government passed legislation that will create a presumption that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) diagnosed in first responders is work-related, announced David Orazietti, MPP.


“Ontario’s first responders put themselves in harm’s way regularly to keep us safe. That’s why our government is committed to ensuring our first responders have the resources and treatments they need, when they need it most,” said Orazietti. “Today’s passing of the Supporting Ontario’s First Responders Act is an important step forward in preventing, diagnosing, and supporting the recovery of our first responders.”


Under the Supporting Ontario’s First Responders Act, the presumption allows for faster access to WSIB benefits, resources and timely treatment. Once a first responder is diagnosed with PTSD by either a psychiatrist or a psychologist, the claims process to be eligible for WSIB benefits will be expedited, without the need to prove a causal link between PTSD and a workplace event.


The presumption applies to police officers, firefighters, paramedics, certain workers in correctional institutions and secure youth justice facilities, dispatchers of police, firefighter and ambulance services, and emergency response teams.


This act is part of the province’s strategy to prevent or mitigate the risk of PTSD and provide first responders with faster access to treatment and the information they need to stay healthy.



  • Evidence shows that first responders are at least twice as likely compared to the general population to suffer from PTSD, due to the risk of frequent exposure to traumatic stressors.
  • The legislation applies to more than 73,000 first responders in Ontario.
  • On March 5, 2015, Ontario hosted the Summit on Work Related Traumatic Mental Stress. The province’s strategy builds on the dialogue and feedback from the Summit.



  • Read the report from the Summit on Work-Related Traumatic Mental Stress



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