A Newtown Police officer who was one of the first responders to the Newtown school shooting is being placed on long-term disability after being diagnosed with PTSD.
Officer Thomas Bean was one of the first responders at the scene of the Newtown tragedy and has since suffered from PTSD stemming from the horrific events of that day. Mr. Bean was placed on leave and has not returned to work in the six-months since the shooting.
A letter obtained by CNN stated that, " he was "permanently disabled" and could be fired. Bean and his union rep said Newtown could only afford to pay two years of long-term disability. He has a dozen years left on the job before being able to retire."
The police union is calling on Newtown to cover officer Bean's disability. In a statement by officer Bean's union rep read, "The men and women of the Newtown Police Department who did respond that day did their job," said Scott Ruszczyk, the union president. "They lived up to their end of their contract. It's now time for the town to live up to their end."
According to the Connecticut House Majority Leader said that the state will only cover long-term care for disabilities only when claim is made with accompanying physical disability. According to CNN, "Joe Aresimowicz, the House majority leader in the state General Assembly, said Connecticut covers mental health care for long-term disability claims only if the diagnosis is accompanied by physical injuries."
Because Officer Bean has been diagnosed with PTSD he is facing a life without benefits. This draconian rule will mean that officer Bean will be fired without benefits that he could use to help support his family.
According to Officer Bean, "If I had my arm chopped off, they'd would say, 'Oh yeah, he's hurt.' But instead they're like, 'We can sweep (this) under the rug and not necessarily have to pay because ... it's not physically seen.' That's the problem with PTSD ... people don't see it."
Officer Bean is a hero and deserves to be treated and given the same help as those who were injured on the job. PTSD is a real problem that cannot be swept under the rug.
Stand with our hero's!