View Full Version : PERS Disability Retirement
02-12-2006, 02:47 PM
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deputy x 2
02-12-2006, 04:10 PM
Got my AME report the other day. Do you think I will be given a retirement if the doctor's report states that I can not return to work as a police officer and that I qualify for occupational rehabilitation? WAIT! The kicker is my only restriction is "no very heavy lifting." I have never seen a police officer's job discription as requiring "very heavy lifting," heavy lifting yes but never "very heavy lifting." Don't ask what "very heavy lifting" is either because I don't know. Gimme your thoughts as I can not get my attorney to call me to answer my questions the @*&%#!
Was it your QME or AME? The doctor must make you permanent and stationary. Is your doctor, the dept's doctor? The disability retirement also has to approved by their doctor. As soon as you are deemed P&S, you should put your disability retirement papers in. It took a year for dep 1's papers to go through. 4850 time only lasts for a year. Unless you have LTD, you will make $340 every two weeks. Sorry, you can't live in California on that.
Regarding vocational rehab- They let you choose if you want $16K in a lump sum, to do whatever you want with it. Or use it to be retrained at a facility of THEIR choice. It's a joke!
Dep 1 choose computers as her field. Just to speak to the counselor and get the course approved was $4K. She only had enough to take a basic course with "promises" of job placement.
After completing the course, due to the limitations of her injury, she was told,"We don't have anything for you, sorry." Had she known this prior, she would have taken the lump sum and supplemented her $340 biweekly pay check.
Opps, I went on a tangent.
The State of California POST website that lists the tasks one must preform to be a police officer. If you can't find it, I can send you a copy. If you cannot preform, just one of the many tasks, you cannot be a cop.
Heavy lifting requirements, if I can recall (don't have the list right now) was 165lbs to simulate a person's weight.
How's that for a start.
02-12-2006, 04:16 PM
Just a heads up, my old neighbor back in Lakewood, CA was investigated over and over again even though it was a very straight forward case of back injury due to wrecking his patrol car. The investigators came over to my house several times asking me what he was doing and if I saw him lifting stuff, ect. The poor guy couldn't even stand for more than an hour w/o being in pain. I told them every time that he was in severe pain and to just let him retire. It took over a year as I recall.
There may be one tiny bump in your path, called the Nolan decision. Info on it can be found at:
In September 2004, the California Supreme Court issued a final decision in the Nolan v. City of Anaheim case, which affects pending and future applications for CalPERS disability retirement.
The Retirement Law states that a CalPERS member may qualify for disability retirement by establishing that they are "incapacitated physically or mentally for the performance of their duties in the State service" (Government Code Section 21156).
Historically, CalPERS has defined "duties in State service" to mean the actual duties you were performing when you became disabled under your current employer. Therefore, when you submitted an application for disability or industrial disability retirement, and established substantial incapacity for the performance of your current duties and the incapacity was permanent or for an extended and uncertain duration, the application was approved.
The California Supreme Court's decision changes that. Now, you must not only establish substantial incapacity from performing the usual duties for your current employer, you must also show that you are incapacitated from performing the usual duties of the position for other CalPERS-covered employers.
If you are capable of performing the usual duties of the position with other CalPERS-covered employers, and if there are positions available with these other employers that are similar in pay, benefits, and promotional opportunities, you will not qualify for disability retirement and your application will be denied. If positions are not available with similar pay, benefits, and promotional opportunities, your application will be approved.
More specifics of the case can be found at:
02-24-2008, 06:36 AM
I spent 26+ years in law enforcement in Southern CA. Was placed on 4850 time (Tax free salary for one year) when my dept found out I had B/P issues, carpel tunnel, GERD and two herniated disks.
I started it because I knew from talking with other officers that it would be a long process and I wanted the city to "Own" my heart for any future medical. My back, hands and gut sometimes hurt but they won't kill me. My heart will.
It was a shock to be told in the doctor's office my career was over. My dept has a new policy. No "light duty" positions. Your are either 100% or retired.
First off get an attorney. Workers comp attorneys in CA are limited by law to 15%, so get an experienced one that specializes in "Safety Personnel". If you don't you'll be sorry. They all charge 15% so get the best. Google safety personnel disability attorneys in So. CA and select. Theres a real good one in Woodland Hills....M.W.L.S.
My city keeps workers comp attorney firms on retainer to fight every claim tooth and nail. One prior post regarding being truthfull about your disability and limitations is gospel. My city sent a P.I. with video cameras hidden in vans to video "disabled" cops painting their houses, playing golf, do not be stupid. As my attorney told me, "Never say you can't do this or that, say it hurts when I do this or that".
Also understand that CalPers and your city are completely seperate. Pers will make a determination of your disability based on their formulas. They read the doctor's reports and rate you. My city said I was 42% disabled, Pers rated me at 66%. The Pers rating is critical, major, very very important! It will determine your retirement checks and how much is taxed. I retired in 2005 on a 3% @50 formula 66% disabled and I have not paid any income tax, Fed or State since. I'm saying that to brag but to demonstrate how critical the "rating" from CalPers is. Deductions help too.
To make this long story a little longer; my case took 4 years almost to the day from when I filed to be settled. I had over 40 doctor/MRI/x-ray appointments. I drove over 1,300 miles to those appointments. (I had to keep a mileage record in order to be paid). My advice, if you retire in CA and like your doctors, keep-em. If you move out of state (I went to Colorado) have your attorney request a "Compromise and release". You will never get an out of state doctor to accept a CA workers comp case. The C&R is simply an agreemnet between you and your employer that for a tax free lump sum, you will drop the case and go away, forever. I have excellent Bluecross 80-20% and my attorney told me to take it and run. Now I pick my doctors, not some "Peer reviewed" quack in New York who can stop/change or alter and order your doctor feels is necessary, including surgery. If your medical insurance is weak..wellll its a crap shoot.
Knowing what I know now I would probably C&R even if I had not moved. I just like the freedom of choice in doctors. And yes I will tell you the C&R, it was 85k. And I would give every cent back to have my enlarged heart normal again.
02-24-2008, 07:49 AM
Get. A. Lawyer.
02-24-2008, 11:43 AM
...They all charge 15% so get the best. Google safety personnel disability attorneys in So. CA and select. Theres a real good one in Woodland Hills....M.W.L.S. ...
Did you, perchance, mean L.M.L.W.? Lewis...M...L...Wicke?
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