STATE HOUSE: House passes bill expanding workers compensation benefits for police officers

Posted by ADAM BEAM on January 15, 2014 

South Carolina Capital Building

STEVEN FRAME

— Police officers in South Carolina who suffer post traumatic stress disorder after shooting someone would be eligible for workers compensation benefits under a bill the state House of Representatives passed on Wednesday.

The bill was inspired by Brandon Bentley, a Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Deputy shot and killed someone on a call in 2009. Bentley never worked again after the shooting, attempting suicide at least twice, he said.

But the state Supreme Court ruled Bentley was not eligible for workers compensation because the law said the benefits are only available if the events that lead to the injury were “extraordinary and unusual.” The court ruled that, for a police officer, shooting someone was part of the job.

Rep. Tommy Pope, R-York, proposed a bill last year that would exempt law enforcement officers from the “extraordinary and unusual” standard if the officer was involved in “the use of deadly force in the line of duty.”

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