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PERA and MSRS Disability Benefits and Health Care Continuation Benefits for Our State’s First Responders

Topics

PERA

Workers' Compensation

Personal Injury

The Minnesota Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) provides retirement and disability benefits for public employees in the state of Minnesota including police officers, firefighters, and corrections officers. The Minnesota State Retirement System (MSRS) administers retirement and disability benefits for state employees including state troopers and other state peace officers and state corrections officers.
Minnesota police officers, firefighters, and corrections officers who sustain work-related injuries may be entitled to PERA or MSRS benefits under Minn. Stat. §299A.465, and PTSD Benefits under Minn. Stat. §299A.475 in addition to workers’ compensation benefits.

PERA Police and Fire Plan Disability Benefits - Overview

A police officer or firefighter who suffers from a disability that is expected to prevent him or her from performing his or her normal duties for a period of at least a year may be eligible for PERA Police and Fire Plan disability benefits. Regular disability benefits are payable at a base rate of 45% of the member’s high-five salary. If the disability is the result of a work-related injury or illness, and the injury or illness was incurred while performing inherently dangerous duties that are specific to police officers or firefighters, the police officer or firefighter may be eligible for duty disability benefits. Duty disability benefits are payable at a base rate of 60% of the member’s high-five salary. Duty disability benefits are non-taxable. A police officer or firefighter who qualifies for duty disability benefits is eligible for healthcare continuation benefits under Minn. Stat. §299A.465. Total and permanent regular or duty disability benefits are available to police officers or firefighters who are permanently and totally disabled from all substantial gainful employment.

PERA Corrections Plan Disability Benefits - Overview

A corrections officer who suffers from a disability that is expected to prevent him or her from performing his or her normal duties for a period of at least a year may be eligible for PERA Corrections Plan disability benefits. Regular disability benefits are payable at a base rate of 19% of the member’s high-five salary. If the disability is the result of a work-related injury or illness, and the injury or illness was incurred while performing inherently dangerous duties that were specific to corrections officers, the corrections officer may be eligible for duty disability benefits. Duty disability benefits are payable at a base rate of 47.5% of the member’s high-five salary, and are non-taxable.

MSRS State Patrol Plan Disability Benefits - Overview

A State Trooper or other state peace officer who suffers from a disability that is expected to prevent him or her from performing his or her normal duties for a period of at least a year may be eligible for MSRS State Patrol Plan disability benefits. Regular disability benefits are payable at a base rate of 45% of the member’s high-five salary. If the disability is the result of a work-related injury or illness, and the injury or illness was incurred while performing inherently duties specific to police officers, the state peace officer may be eligible for duty disability benefits. Duty disability benefits are non-taxable, and payable at a base rate of 60% of the member’s high-five salary. State troopers and peace officers who qualify for duty disability benefits, are eligible for healthcare continuation benefits under Minn. Stat. §299A.465. Total and permanent regular or duty disability benefits are available to state peace officers who are permanently and totally disabled from all substantial gainful employment.

MSRS Corrections Plan Disability Benefits - Overview

A state corrections officer who suffers from a disability that is expected to prevent him or her from performing his or her normal duties for a period of at least a year may be eligible for MSRS Corrections Plan disability benefits. Regular disability benefits are payable at a variable rate based on the number of years of service. If the disability is the result of a work-related injury or illness, and the injury or illness was incurred while performing duties that were inherently dangerous and specific to corrections officers, the corrections officer may be eligible for duty disability benefits. Duty disability benefits are payable at a base rate of 50% of the member’s high-five salary. Duty disability benefits are non-taxable.

Police Officer and Firefighter Continuation of Health Insurance Benefits Under §299A.465 - Overview

Police officers and firefighters, including State Troopers, are eligible for health insurance continuation benefits under §299A.465 if they are determined to be eligible for PERA or MSRS Duty Disability benefits. This benefit provides for continued health insurance benefits through a police officer or firefighter’s employer through age 65, meaning that the employer continues to pay its share of the premium for the firefighter or police officer’s health insurance coverage.

Police Officer Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Benefits under §299A.475 - Overview

Peace officers who are diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of lawfully causing a death or substantial bodily harm in the line of duty are eligible for benefits under §299A.475. The benefits include up to a year’s worth of unreimbursed wage loss benefits, and a year’s worth of unreimbursed medical expense benefits for treatment related to the post-traumatic stress disorder.

In addition to workers’ compensation benefits, disabled police officers, firefighters and corrections officers may be eligible for a variety of additional benefits worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Meuser Law Office has proudly and successfully represented hundreds of Minnesota police officers, firefighters, and corrections officers in conjunction with their claims for workers’ compensation benefits, PERA/MSRS disability benefits, health care continuation benefits, and PTSD benefits. Contact us today to learn more about your rights.


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