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Looking for knowledge about retiring due to injury in the line of duty

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  • CCCSD
    replied
    L-1, my medical retirement is 100% untaxed.

    Leave a comment:


  • Aidokea
    replied
    Originally posted by L-1 View Post

    I filed for regular retirement pending approval of disability retirement, to be effective the first day after my 4800 time (workers comp leave) ran out. My service ended on that date and they had to pay me off for all my unused leave credit, which was a considerable amount. It takes about three months for a regular retirement to be processed, so I lived off the money from my leave credit payoff until retirement kicked in. When it did kick in, it was retroactive to when I filed, so I got several months back pension checks. Due to a screw up, it took well over a year for my disability to be approved. When that occurred they sent me an amended 1099 and I filed amended tax returns because in my state, disability retirement is 50% tax free. That resulted in several large tax refunds.

    Some officers try to milk it out for as long as they can, burning vacation, PTO, etc, after their workers comp pay runs out in the hope that doing so will somehow enhance their pension for each month they stay, or because they can't let go of the job, or hope some medical miracle will occur, or because they don't know what to do and don't want to ask. Usually, pensions are only retroactive to the 1st day of the month in which you file, so you lose money by dragging it out as each month's lost pension is $ greater than how much your pension will be incrementally enhanced by staying an extra month. Unless your union contract says otherwise, most states require your employer to pay you off for unused leave credits when you separate, so you file for retirement when your workers comp ends, use your leave credit payoff to live on while you wait for your pension to be approved and then receive retroactive pension checks when it's processed. It sounds like you've run out of workers comp leave, have burned your leave credits, and now have nothing to live on while waiting for your pension to be approved (if you ever get around to filing for it).
    I appreciate you sharing.

    Our retirement system website says that we should have our first pension check a month after we retire. And since my final paycheck would come in the middle of that month, there would actually be no gap as far as checks coming in.

    That said, they will cash me out on my unused vacation time, and we do plan to have that available as a financial buffer, in case we need it.

    Again, as CCCSD said, you are in over your head.
    I understand that.

    The great path to glory you think you are following is really the road to bankruptcy court.
    I don't know what "great path to glory" you are talking about, nor do I know why you're mentioning bankruptcy court.

    Please, please, please find yourself a good workers comp attorney. You can't afford not to,
    I got it. Thank you.

    Leave a comment:


  • Aidokea
    replied
    Originally posted by Iowa #1603 View Post

    I retired under normal circumstances
    Copy dat...

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  • L-1
    replied
    Originally posted by Aidokea View Post
    CCC SD, L-1, SHU, and Iowa #1603, can I ask you to describe your experiences? How did the process go for you?
    I filed for regular retirement pending approval of disability retirement, to be effective the first day after my 4800 time (workers comp leave) ran out. My service ended on that date and they had to pay me off for all my unused leave credit, which was a considerable amount. It takes about three months for a regular retirement to be processed, so I lived off the money from my leave credit payoff until retirement kicked in. When it did kick in, it was retroactive to when I filed, so I got several months back pension checks. Due to a screw up, it took well over a year for my disability to be approved. When that occurred they sent me an amended 1099 and I filed amended tax returns because in my state, disability retirement is 50% tax free. That resulted in several large tax refunds.

    Some officers try to milk it out for as long as they can, burning vacation, PTO, etc, after their workers comp pay runs out in the hope that doing so will somehow enhance their pension for each month they stay, or because they can't let go of the job, or hope some medical miracle will occur, or because they don't know what to do and don't want to ask. Usually, pensions are only retroactive to the 1st day of the month in which you file, so you lose money by dragging it out as each month's lost pension is $ greater than how much your pension will be incrementally enhanced by staying an extra month. Unless your union contract says otherwise, most states require your employer to pay you off for unused leave credits when you separate, so you file for retirement when your workers comp ends, use your leave credit payoff to live on while you wait for your pension to be approved and then receive retroactive pension checks when it's processed. It sounds like you've run out of workers comp leave, have burned your leave credits, and now have nothing to live on while waiting for your pension to be approved (if you ever get around to filing for it).

    Again, as CCCSD said, you are in over your head. The great path to glory you think you are following is really the road to bankruptcy court. Please, please, please find yourself a good workers comp attorney. You can't afford not to,





    Leave a comment:


  • Iowa #1603
    replied
    Originally posted by Aidokea View Post
    CCC SD, L-1, SHU, and Iowa #1603, can I ask you to describe your experiences? How did the process go for you?
    I retired under normal circumstances

    Leave a comment:


  • Aidokea
    replied
    Attorney. Got it.

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  • L-1
    replied
    Originally posted by Aidokea View Post

    That's what is happening. Worker's comp paid me 100% of my salary for a certain number of months, but we've reached the point to where They're only paying me MOST of my salary, and I'm supplementing the rest with the sick time that I've banked over the years. But this is a retirement question, not a worker's comp question.



    If I don't get better, I'm not going to be able to do things that a cop would need to do.



    As I stated above, I am of retirement age, and I am fully vested in our retirement plan. The payout would be 50% of the average of my three highest years. I don't know about the tax-free part.



    They're not disputing the injury. It was a pretty obvious thing. Plenty of witnesses. But again, my question is not a worker's comp question, it's a retirement question.



    Now THAT is helpful. That's what they told me over the phone, but I appreciate your comment. Thank you.



    So you've had first-hand experience at this?

    And are you saying that in addition to my retirement system having to pay out on this, that worker's comp would ALSO be cutting me checks if this injury retires me?



    I understand that, but at this point any experience is better than my complete lack of experience.
    My apologies, I laid all that out because you were unwiling to provide any details of your cirumstance, so I wanted you to have an understanding of what you might go through. Again, your mileage may vary depending on your state, your laws and your retirement system/ Had you been me forthcoming you would have saved me a lot of typing.

    Again, you ask about what to expect from your retirement system and workers comp. I don't know. Again, it depends on where you are, which you decline to state. If you are in California, you will receive your pension from CalPERS or the County. In addition, SCIF or whoever your employer's wworker's comp carrier will pay you an amount of permanent disability to compensate you for your loss of value to the job market. Hoe muych they pay you will depend on how badly you are injured.

    As CCCSD said, you need an attorney for this. If you are in California (and based on your description of exceeding your 4800 time) you should have been retired long ago and are blindly dragging this out for no good reason. If you are in another state I can't help you as your laws and benefits will no doube be different.

    Leave a comment:


  • CCCSD
    replied
    You need an attorney. You are not understanding the replies.

    Leave a comment:


  • Aidokea
    replied
    Originally posted by L-1 View Post
    First, I have to say I am surprised you are burning your own leave credits while recuperating from a work related injury. Unless your employer is disputing that your injury is work related or claiming you are not too incapacitated to work, you should be collecting some sort of workers compensation instead of burning leave credits or at best, only burning a few leave credits to supplement your workers compensation. Where I'm at, (California) unless your claim is disputed, you would not be touching your leave credits and instead be collecting up to one year of full pay, tax free while you recover to a point where you can terurn to full duty or become permanent and stationary (not going to get better or worse)
    That's what is happening. Worker's comp paid me 100% of my salary for a certain number of months, but we've reached the point to where They're only paying me MOST of my salary, and I'm supplementing the rest with the sick time that I've banked over the years. But this is a retirement question, not a worker's comp question.

    Here, each department must maintain a list of critical tasks an officer must be capable of performing. If it is determined you cannot perform any single one of those tasks as a result of your work related injury, you qualify for a disability retirement.
    If I don't get better, I'm not going to be able to do things that a cop would need to do.

    How much you get depends on your age. If you are under minimum retirement age, you get 50% of your highest year's salary, tax free. If you are over the minimum retirement age, you get either what you would normally qualify for if you took a normal retirement, 50% tax free, or 50% of your highest year, tax free, whichever is greater.
    As I stated above, I am of retirement age, and I am fully vested in our retirement plan. The payout would be 50% of the average of my three highest years. I don't know about the tax-free part.

    The problem arises when an employer disputes an injury. You doin't get any workers comp, must burn off your leave credits and when they're gone, live off your savings while your case is settled. Many injured officers have been starved into returning to work prematurely that way.
    They're not disputing the injury. It was a pretty obvious thing. Plenty of witnesses. But again, my question is not a worker's comp question, it's a retirement question.

    The advantage you have is that you're at retirement age. You can file for regular retirement pending approval of disability retirement. That way, the money keeps coming in while your case gets settled.
    Now THAT is helpful. That's what they told me over the phone, but I appreciate your comment. Thank you.

    This is not a do it yourself project and you really need to find an attorney who is versed in workers compensation for cops. The law, the workers comp system and the retirement system are all complicated. In my state, workers comp attorneys don't require cash up front but instead, get a percentage of your permanent disability rating. Permanent disability (which is separate from your pension) is a cash award that compensates you for your loss of value to the job market because of your injury. In my (multiple) cases, my attorney wound up making about $30k for perhaps 8 hours of work at best.
    So you've had first-hand experience at this?

    And are you saying that in addition to my retirement system having to pay out on this, that worker's comp would ALSO be cutting me checks if this injury retires me?

    Of course, things may be totally different in your state, so I may have just sold you a pipe dream.
    I understand that, but at this point any experience is better than my complete lack of experience.

    Leave a comment:


  • L-1
    replied
    First, I have to say I am surprised you are burning your own leave credits while recuperating from a work related injury. Unless your employer is disputing that your injury is work related or claiming you are not too incapacitated to work, you should be collecting some sort of workers compensation instead of burning leave credits or at best, only burning a few leave credits to supplement your workers compensation. Where I'm at, (California) unless your claim is disputed, you would not be touching your leave credits and instead be collecting up to one year of full pay, tax free while you recover to a point where you can terurn to full duty or become permanent and stationary (not going to get better or worse)

    Here, each department must maintain a list of critical tasks an officer must be capable of performing. If it is determined you cannot perform any single one of those tasks as a result of your work related injury, you qualify for a disability retirement. How much you get depends on your age. If you are under minimum retirement age, you get 50% of your highest year's salary, tax free. If you are over the minimum retirement age, you get either what you would normally qualify for if you took a normal retirement, 50% tax free, or 50% of your highest year, tax free, whichever is greater.

    The problem arises when an employer disputes an injury. You doin't get any workers comp, must burn off your leave credits and when they're gone, live off your savings while your case is settled. Many injured officers have been starved into returning to work prematurely that way.

    The advantage you have is that you're at retirement age. You can file for regular retirement pending approval of disability retirement. That way, the money keeps coming in while your case gets settled.

    This is not a do it yourself project and you really need to find an attorney who is versed in workers compensation for cops. The law, the workers comp system and the retirement system are all complicated. In my state, workers comp attorneys don't require cash up front but instead, get a percentage of your permanent disability rating. Permanent disability (which is separate from your pension) is a cash award that compensates you for your loss of value to the job market because of your injury. In my (multiple) cases, my attorney wound up making about $30k for perhaps 8 hours of work at best.

    Of course, things may be totally different in your state, so I may have just sold you a pipe dream.

    Leave a comment:


  • RequestingMeal
    replied
    Every state is different. Different disability retirement rules, medical boards, unions, lawyers, injury type, disability income % ,etc... all these factors make it impossible to give good advice. If in a union, ask your health & welfare officer, or equivalent.

    Leave a comment:


  • CCCSD
    replied
    Sorry. I don’t discuss. Every case is different.

    Leave a comment:


  • Aidokea
    replied
    CCC SD, L-1, SHU, and Iowa #1603, can I ask you to describe your experiences? How did the process go for you?
    Last edited by Aidokea; 04-11-2019, 09:51 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Iowa #1603
    replied
    I will reiterate what has been said above

    Find a good EXPERIENCED labor / workers comp attorney .

    I say workers comp becasue they often also know retirement systems

    Leave a comment:


  • Aidokea
    replied
    Originally posted by L-1 View Post
    Believe it or not, these are importan question that will have an impact on what you are considering:

    What state are you in?

    What retirement system are you under?
    I believe you.

    For the time being, I would not be comfortable discussing the specifics of my situation on the internet.

    Do you know what your state's criteria is for peace officer disability retirement?
    "permanently incapacitated for the further performance of duty" as the result of an "unlooked for mishap or an untoward event which is not expected or designed, occurring while in the actual performance of duty at some definite time and place.".

    As far as the first quote goes, the retirement system evaluates all of the evidence that I can present (doctors reports, images, etc.) as well as being interviewed by their medical board, which is comprised of three doctors. They then send a recommendation up the chain.

    As far as the second quote goes, I believe I have all of the elements of that nailed down. I was attempting to apprehend a violent felon, while on duty and in uniform, on a case that dispatch assigned me to, and the injury that I sustained fits their rather wordy definition of an unintentional injury.

    Are you at or below the minimum retirement age?

    If you are below the minimum retirement age, what disability retirement benefits does your retirement program offer, including COLA raises?

    If you are below the minimum retirement age, does your retirement system put any limitation on working another job while collecting disability retirement?
    I have reached the minimum retirement age, and I am fully vested in our retirement plan.

    How many hours of leave credit do you have saved up? (sick, vacation, PTO/CTO, etc.)
    I have a bunch, but I'm burning through it. By my estimation, I won't run out until around Christmas.

    Do you have enough money saved up in the bank as an emergency fund to live on for 12 months?
    No. With zero overtime for the last year and my wife's cancer, we are just about tapped out.

    I have to run right now, but I will explain the importance of this in a day or so.
    Thanks. I'd appreciate your input.

    Leave a comment:

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