In the state of Minnesota, police officers and firefighters are generally covered for disability and retirement benefits under the Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) Police and Fire Plan.
Minnesota firefighters or police officers who sustain injures on the job are generally entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, including medical expense benefits, wage loss benefits, permanent partial disability benefits, and/or rehabilitation and retraining benefits. They may also be entitled to Healthcare Continuation Benefits in accordance with Minn. Stat. §299A.465.
It’s also important to note that Minnesota police officers or firefighters who sustain disabling injuries in the line of duty may also be eligible for PERA Police and Fire Plan Duty disability benefits. Duty disability benefits are payable at a base rate of 60% of your high five salary. In order to qualify for this benefit, an injured police officer or firefighter must demonstrate that he or she suffers from a condition that is expected to prevent them from performing the normal duties of their position for a period of at least a year, and that the condition is the direct result of an injury or illness sustained during, or arising out of, the performance of duties that present inherent dangers specific to police officers or firefighters. Minn. Stat. §353.656, Subd. 1, and Minn. Stat. § 353.01, Subd. 41.
Unfortunately, applying for PERA Duty disability benefits is not always as simple and straightforward as it should be. Making mistakes during the application process can result in a denial of your claim, or it can result in substantial delays in getting your benefits. Mistakes can cost you thousands of dollars worth of benefits.
Meuser Law Office, P.A., has proudly and successfully represented hundreds of police officers and firefighters throughout the state of Minnesota for PERA duty disability claims. It is far cheaper and faster to get your application right the first time, rather than having to appeal an adverse decision to get the benefits you’re entitled to. The PERA lawyers at Meuser Law Office, P.A., handle PERA Police and Fire Plan claims at all stages of the process - from the beginning of the application phase all the way to the Minnesota Court of Appeals. We strongly encourage any Minnesota police officer or firefighter who is considering applying for PERA Police and Fire Plan duty disability benefits to meet with us a for a consultation before beginning the application process. Experienced legal representation can help save you time and money in getting approved for the benefits you’re entitled to.
If you are applying for PERA Police and Fire Plan duty disability benefits on your own, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Read the legal requirements for PERA Police and Fire Plan Duty Disability benefits, set forth in Minn. Stat. § 353.656, Subd. 1, Minn. Stat. § 353.01, Subd. 41, and Minn. Stat. § 353.031, Subd. 4, and make sure you understand what exactly you need to demonstrate to PERA as part of your application in order to prove your entitlement to these benefits. Keep these requirements in mind when you’re completing the application and submitting supporting documentation.
- If your injury predates your application by more than 2 years, you need to demonstrate the additional requirements set forth in Minn. Stat. § 353.031, Subd. 4 – that you cannot perform the duties you were expected to perform during the last 90 days that you worked. Cases involving injuries that occurred over two years ago can involve some complicated steps, particularly if your employer is offering light duty employment. This is a hotly contested issue on cases involving Minneapolis Police Officers.
- You cannot apply for PERA Police and Fire Plan duty disability benefits if you are over age 55 and have in excess of 20 years of service. If you are over the age of 50 and you have an injury or a disability that may prevent you from returning to full duty, or that could end your career early, evaluate whether you’re eligible for PERA duty disability benefits. Don’t wait until a week before your 55th birthday!
Meuser Law Office, P.A., is one of the only law firms in the state of Minnesota that handles PERA duty disability claims for injured police officers and firefighters. These benefits are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. PERA Police and Fire Plan duty disability benefits are far too valuable to simply “wing it” in completing the application, or to rely on the advice or assistance of a workers’ compensation attorney who is not familiar with this area of law. We’ve successfully represented hundreds of police officers and firefighters throughout the state of Minnesota, including firefighters and police officers from:
- Minneapolis Fire Department
- Minneapolis Police Department
- St. Paul Fire Department St. Paul Police Department
- Minnesota State Highway Patrol
- Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
- Grand Rapids Police Department
- Rogers Police Department
- Springfield Police Department
- St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office
- Crookston Police Department
- Redwood Falls Police Department
- Hamel Fire Department
- Waseca Police Department
- Crystal Police Department
- Faribault Police Department
- Coon Rapids Fire Department
- Plymouth Police Department
- New Brighton Police Department
- Mound Fire Department
- Mound Police Department
- Pine County Sheriff’s Office
- Rochester Police Department
- South St. Paul Fire Department
- Becker County Sheriff’s Office
- Cass County Sheriff’s Office
- Big Lake Police Department
- Woodbury Police Department
- Metro Transit Police Department
- Metro Airports Commission Police Department
- Bemidji Police Department
- Bemidji Fire Department
- North Branch Police Department
- Oakdale Police Department
- Chisago County Sheriff’s Office
- Lakeville Police Department
- Hennepin county Sheriff’s Office
- Burnsville Police Department
- Burnsville Fire Department
- Brooklyn Park Police Department
- Morrison County Sheriff’s Office
- Washington County Sheriff’s Office
- Minneapolis Park and Rec Police Department
- Hopkins Police Department
- Columbia Heights Police Department
- South Lake Minnetonka Police Department
- Hibbing Police Department
- Carlton County Sheriff’s Office
- Scott County Sheriff’s Office
- Mankato Police Department
- Becker Police Department
- Roseville Police Department
- St. Cloud Police Department
- St. Cloud Fire Department
- Thief River Falls Police Department
- Springfield Police Department
- Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Office
- St. Louis Park Fire Department
- Big Lake Police Department
We at Meuser Law Office, P.A, take tremendous pride in the work we do for Minnesota’s disabled police officers and firefighters. To learn more about PERA Police and Fire Plan duty disability benefits, contact us at 877-746-5680 to schedule a consultation with one of our PERA disability lawyers, or fill out the form on this page.