The Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund (OP&F) Board of Trustees has approved a change to the method used to calculate disability benefit awards, which will eliminate consideration of a member's non-disabling conditions. In the past, OP&F would consider and give weight to a member's medical or psychological conditions which were not necessarily disabling, but from which the member suffered. For instance, if a member suffered from, and was being treated for, diabetes, OP&F would give some weight to the diabetes medical condition when awarding a disability retirement. With the new change, which OP&F will be implementing with initial disability determinations beginning October 1, 2013, OP&F will not give any weight to a member's non-disabling conditions. A disabling condition is one which causes a permanent impairment from which there is no present indication of recovery, which causes the member to be permanently incapacitated for the performance of police or fire duties using the occupation characteristics developed by the U.S. Department of Labor.
With the revised calculation method, the vocational factors OP&F is considering during the disability process will apply only to the value of the existing disabling condition. For instance, if a member has a moderate earnings capacity damage (causing a 2.0 vocational factor) and has a spinal injury causing a 25% "disabling" impairment, but the member also has a 5% non-disabling impairment for a knee condition, the calculation will be as follows: 25% x 2.0 = 50%. No consideration is given for the non-disabling knee condition.
For more information, please do not hesitate to call our office at 614-221-1300.