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  • Filing for medical retirement with FPPA

    My town doesn’t have a Union, and if I ask any of the brass that have come from larger departments I’ll be fired in a week.

    Im starting to have diabetes related problems that are making doing the job difficult and maybe dangerous.

    How bad do things have to be before FPPA will approve a medical, and do I have to wait until the town fires me for not being able to perform, or can I file while I’m still working?

    None of the line officers I work with know anything, and the brass or HR will fire me if I ask.. which may not be a bad thing, but I’d like to have my ducks in a row as much as possible beforehand.
    "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

    "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

  • #2
    Start with finding a doctor who will write that you need to retire & working either will make your health worse of working could be dangerous to you.
    My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Iowa #1603 View Post
      Start with finding a doctor who will write that you need to retire & working either will make your health worse of working could be dangerous to you.
      That’s more difficult than it would seem.

      The two healthcare systems I use both have policies specifically prohibiting that, or filling out ADA paperwork, due to liability.

      One doc told me off the record that the only way a doc is going to sign off is if the employer is the customer, not me.
      Last edited by tanksoldier; 01-01-2022, 12:40 AM.
      "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

      "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

      Comment


      • #4
        It is rare that diabetes can be established as being a work-related injury, so getting a disability retirement is going to be difficult unless your pension system allows for disability retirements for non-work-related medical conditions.

        In order to avoid discrimination lawsuits, your agency is supposed to maintain a validated list of critical physical tasks an officer must be capable of performing. If you voluntarily tell them that because of your non-work-related medical condition you are unable to perform any one of those critical tasks, you are subject to termination as being incapable of performing the duties of the job. That may leave you unemployed and broke.

        Just because your healthcare system won’t write ADA letters doesn’t prohibit you from paying money out of your own pocket and getting a doctor outside of the system to write you an ADA letter, but there are other considerations here. Making a reasonable accommodation request under ADA can be kind of a crapshoot. Reasonable Accommodation requests must be reasonable and not be burdensome to the employer. Employers have a lot of latitude in deciding those factors. At the same time, employees make some fairly unreasonable demands. The smaller the agency, the greater the potential for a request to create a burden.

        If there is a larger PD in your area, contact one of their union reps and ask about workers comp attorneys who represent cops. Before you do anything, make an appointment, sit down with the attorney and ask him for advice. I imagine your first response will be, “But I can’t afford to talk to an attorney.” My answer is – can you afford to be unemployed and broke?
        Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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        • #5
          Originally posted by L-1 View Post
          It is rare that diabetes can be established as being a work-related injury, so getting a disability retirement is going to be difficult unless your pension system allows for disability retirements for non-work-related medical conditions.
          FPPA allows a retirement for non-work related at 40%, vs 50% for work related.

          In order to avoid discrimination lawsuits, your agency is supposed to maintain a validated list of critical physical tasks an officer must be capable of performing. If you voluntarily tell them that because of your non-work-related medical condition you are unable to perform any one of those critical tasks, you are subject to termination as being incapable of performing the duties of the job. That may leave you unemployed and broke.
          This is my retirement gig. I already have one retirement from the US Army.

          I’d like to belong to two check of the month clubs, but it’s not critical.

          ​​​​​​….and our job description lists examples of job tasks, but none are listed as “critical” or “essential”…. Not even qualifying with a firearm.

          The problem is, colorado is a right to work state…. Which means you can be fired for no reason at all.

          Just because your healthcare system won’t write ADA letters doesn’t prohibit you from paying money out of your own pocket and getting a doctor outside of the system to write you an ADA letter, but there are other considerations here. Making a reasonable accommodation request under ADA can be kind of a crapshoot. Reasonable Accommodation requests must be reasonable and not be burdensome to the employer. Employers have a lot of latitude in deciding those factors. At the same time, employees make some fairly unreasonable demands. The smaller the agency, the greater the potential for a request to create a burden.
          In fairness, there isn’t much accommodation this department can make. We have 5 officers and one car on duty at a time. Two during the day if you count the SRO. There really isn’t anywhere to hide, you have to be able to do everything by yourself until another town can send an officer over…. 5-10 minutes minimum. I had a DV menacing with a shotgun a few months ago, took backup 15 minutes to get there.

          If there is a larger PD in your area, contact one of their union reps and ask about workers comp attorneys who represent cops. Before you do anything, make an appointment, sit down with the attorney and ask him for advice. I imagine your first response will be, “But I can’t afford to talk to an attorney.” My answer is – can you afford to be unemployed and broke?
          I can afford to talk to an attorney. I just have to figure out how to ask questions without word getting back.
          Last edited by tanksoldier; 01-01-2022, 04:51 PM.
          "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

          "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by L-1 View Post
            It is rare that diabetes can be established as being a work-related injury, so getting a disability retirement is going to be difficult unless your pension system allows for disability retirements for non-work-related medical conditions.
            I think he's talking about cutting his losses by trying to salvage a medical retirement. I don't think he's attempting a service-connected disability retirement.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by tanksoldier View Post
              Im starting to have diabetes related problems that are making doing the job difficult and maybe dangerous.
              What about improving your diet and taking up running?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by tanksoldier View Post
                My town doesn’t have a Union...
                Well there's your first problem. Why would you agree to go to work in law enforcement without full union protections?

                Comment


              • #9
                Originally posted by Aidokea View Post

                What about improving your diet and taking up running?
                I’m actually in pretty good shape. The diabetes was caused by line of duty accident in the Army that fractured my spine and damaged my pancreas.

                Im considered an adult-onset type 1.

                The nerve damage caused by diabetes can’t be reversed.
                "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

                "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

                Comment


                • Aidokea
                  Aidokea
                  Forum Member
                  Aidokea commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Wow. I am sorry to hear that. I wish you the best, brother.

                  Is the military paying you for your service-related disability?

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