Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line daily to protect us from harm. However, one of the biggest dangers they face is heart disease. In fact, heart disease is the leading cause of death for all individuals in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Officers need to know they are not immune to this statistic and may be at a higher risk of developing heart disease.
Why Law Enforcement Officers Are at a Higher Risk for Heart Disease
While heart disease can happen to anyone, law enforcement officers are at particular risk. This is largely due to their physically demanding job, which often requires them to work long hours and be on alert for long periods of time. The stress and strain of being a law enforcement officer can lead to unhealthy lifestyle habits such as smoking, a poor diet, and a lack of physical activity. As a result, law enforcement officers are more likely to have medical conditions that can contribute to heart disease, such as high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes.
With so much on the line, officers must be aware of the risks and take steps to protect their hearts and health.
Heart Disease and Law Enforcement Disability
Law enforcement officers often face the difficult decision of continuing their service if they take disability related to their heart health. The Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund provides disability retirement benefits for those who can no longer safely perform their duties due to physical or mental impairments. The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation likewise provides medical benefits and compensation to police officers who experience an acute coronary injury such as a heart attack (myocardial infarction) or who aggravate pre-existing coronary artery disease due to the performance of their work duties.
Heart disease can be a qualifying condition for some law enforcement officers, meaning that an officer may be eligible to receive a disability retirement. Disability retirement requires a physician’s diagnosis and proof of the inability to perform the duties of a law enforcement officer safely. Workers' compensation claims require a medical opinion that the work activity probably caused the heart attack.
Helping Those Who Serve Us
If you are a law enforcement officer and considering filing for disability, or a workers' compensation claim, don’t do this on your own. Whether you’re just getting started or your initial disability claim was denied, Zamora & Hogan Co., L.P.A. is here for you. Our Columbus police disability attorneys provide the personal attention your claim needs so you can get the best possible results.
Disability can mean a new beginning for you — let Zamora & Hogan Co., L.P.A. help get you there. Contact us online or by phone to get started. (614) 344-6822