There has been talk about reforming the way that disability awards are granted for New Jersey police and firefighter personnel. Currently, the disability payments are based on two-thirds of a public employee’s salaries. However, certain proposals would lower such payments to 40 percent of their salaries. Such proposals would also require further medical evaluations before disability benefits would be awarded.
Such reforms are being proposed because it has been alleged that large payments have been made to workers that were not truly disabled. However, this presents difficulties for police and firefighters actually injured while on duty and being denied payment because of the alleged actions of individuals trying to take advantage of the situation.
Legislatures often take actions to fine tune legislation is such a manner as to save on state or federal money. However, in their efforts to make changes individuals that are actually injured are often forgotten. There is no such thing as a typical disability case as all such claims are unique. Every injured and disabled worker deserves individual representation to make certain that their claim is not grouped in with others. Attorneys that have experience in representing disabled workers understand how to differentiate one claim from another.
It’s not difficult to imagine the kind of injuries that New Jersey police or fire fighters can receive while they are on the job. Police officers have lost their lives while trying to protect the public. Firefighters are often severely burned in trying to prevent fires from spreading. Those injured in this manner deserve to be compensated for injuries inflicted upon them.
Source: newjerseynewsroom.com, “Pressure is on to reform N.J. police and firefighter disability awards,” by Bob Holt, Nov. 21, 2011