There are THREE classifications of disability benefits as hereinafter enumerated:
- Ordinary Disability Benefits are provided to officers who become disabled as the result of any cause other than an injury incurred while in the performance of an act of duty. (sec.5/5-155)
- Duty Disability Benefits are provided to active officers who become disabled as a result of an injury incurred in the performance of an act of duty. (sec.5/5-154)
- Occupational Disease Benefits are provided to an officer with at least 10 years of service who suffers a heart attack or any other disabling heart disease but is not entitled to a benefit under sec. 5/5-154.
NOTE: An Act of Duty is defined as any act of police duty inherently involving special risk, not ordinarily assumed by a citizen in the ordinary walks of life, imposed on a policeman by the statutes of the State or by the ordinances or police regulations of the City in which this Article is in effect or by special assignment; or any act of heroism performed in the City having for its direct purpose the saving of the life or property of a person other than the policeman. (sec. 5/5-113)
Ordinary Disability Benefits are payable during any period or periods of disability exceeding 30 days, for which the officer does not have a right to receive any part of his salary. For every four (4) years of service, an officer is eligible for a year of ordinary disability benefits, not to exceed five (5) years. The amount of the benefit is 50% of the salary at the time the disability occurs. (sec. 5/5-155)
Duty Disability Benefits are payable to an active officer who becomes disabled as the result of injury occurred in the performance of an act of duty and is payable during the period the officer does not have a right to receive salary. The duty disability benefit is equal to 75% of the officer’s salary, as salary is defined in the act, at the time the disability is allowed. However, if the disability resulted from any physical defect or mental disorder or any disease which existed at the time the injury is sustained, or if the disability is less than 50% of total disability for any service of a remunerative character, the duty disability benefit shall be 50% of salary as defined in the Act.
An officer who suffers a heart attack during the performance and discharged of his or her duties shall be considered injury in the performance of an act of duty and shall be eligible for all benefits that the City provides for officers injury in the performance of an act of duty. (sec. 5/5-154)
Occupational Disease Disability
Occupational Disease Disability Benefits are payable to an officer with at least 10 years of service who suffers a heart attack or any other disabling heart disease but I not entitled to a benefit under section 5/5-154. The occupational disease benefit shall be 65% of the salary attached to the rank held by the officer in the police service at the time of the officer’s removal from the police department’s payroll.
The officer is also entitled to a children disability of $100.00 per month for each natural or legally adopted unmarried child less than age 18 dependant upon the officer for support.
The occupational disease benefit is payable during the period of disability until the officer attains age 63 or compulsory retirement age, which ever occurs later; the officer shall receive the benefits provided under the other provisions of the Act. (sec. 5/5-154.1)
Proof of Disability
Proof of Duty, Ordinary and Occupational Disease Disability shall be furnished to The Board by at least one licensed and practicing physician appointed by The Board. The Board, upon receipt of an officer’s application for a disability benefit, will thereafter with notice given to the officer conduct an evidentiary hearing to determine if the officer is entitled to a duty disability benefit and the amount of the benefit, if any, to which the officer may be entitled.
It is the officer’s obligation and burden, in seeking a disability benefit, to establish his entitlement to the benefit sought by competent proof including thetestimony of witnesses.
A disabled officer who receives a duty, ordinary or occupational disease disability benefit shall be examined at least once a year by one or more physicians appointed by The Board. When the disability ceases, The Board shall discontinue payment of the benefit and the officer shall be returned to active service. (sec. 5/5-156 and 154.1)
If an officer has been granted a duty, ordinary or occupational disease disability benefit and thereafter refuses to submit to an examination by a Board appointed physician, the officer shall have not further right to receive the benefit. (sec. 5/5-157)
The Board conducts annual reviews of the medical condition of all disability recipients, and if necessary The board, with notice to the officer, will conduct an evidentiary hearing to determine if the disability award previously granted shall be continued, modified or discontinued as the officer’s case my warrant.