Each day, public safety employees leave their families and go to work to protect ours. Be it police officers, firefighters, or others in our service, injuries unfortunately arise. The attorneys at Meyers & Flowers have years of experience representing public safety workers not only in work injury claims and civil actions, but in pension hearings as well.
Pension and Disability Benefits under Illinois Law
Protection for the financial welfare of public safety employees and their families is covered under several laws including the Public Safety Employee Benefits Act (PSEBA) and the Public Employee Disability Act (PEDA). In addition, the Illinois Workers Compensation Act (IWCA) provides benefits for any covered worker who becomes injured on the job. The Illinois Pension Code (IPC) also regulates payment of benefits for public safety employees injured or killed in the line of duty.
Public employees who face physical and mental hazards unique to their job duties are recognized as needing extended benefits should they be killed or become disabled in the line of duty. A disabled public employee may be entitled to a lifetime pension of between 50% and 60% of their salary once a determination has been made that he or she can no longer perform their duties. PSEBA provides for payment of all health insurance benefits once the disability pension has been established and other criterion are met.
These laws cover full time firefighters, police officers, correctional officers and probation officers and their families. Understanding all available benefits, particularly in the public sector is very complex. Having a knowledgeable attorney who is well versed on all relevant laws and codes and how they interact ensures that all possible benefits are obtained for workers and their loved ones.
Public Employee Disability Act
Under PEDA a full time injured fire fighter or police officer may receive up to 52 weeks of salary, tax free, if those injuries were the result of their duties.
Trying to comply with the regulations required to receive these benefits without professional guidance is not recommended. Attorneys for the cash strapped municipalities are looking for ways to cut their costs and an unrepresented public safety employee is putting himself or herself at risk of losing legitimate benefits.
Public Safety Employee Benefits Act
This legislation exists to provide public safety employees and their families with health care benefits should they suffer a catastrophic injury while performing their duties. There has been much debate on the definition of ‘catastrophic’ since this is what triggers benefits under this Act. Public employees who wish to maximize their benefits should realize that nuances can make a difference of thousands of dollars in benefits. Retaining the services of an experienced public safety pension attorney who can navigate through the complexities of these requirements can make the difference between being financially secure or financially stressed.
Public Safety Pension & Employment Rights
Meyers & Flowers in Illinois is particularly committed to pursuing all benefits owed to those who daily risk their lives protecting the citizens of Illinois. This is a complex procedure that can be stressful for those not familiar with the process. If you have been injured on the job and want help with your case, call us to arrange a free consultation. We will be honored to help you.