Continuing Eligibility for Ohio Police & Firefighters
Representation from Our Columbus Workers' Comp Eligibility Attorney
The Ohio Police & Fire Disability Pension Fund retains continuing jurisdiction to modify disability determinations. After the initial disability grant, subsequent circumstances may warrant a modification or termination of benefits. Below is a summary of some continuing eligibility considerations of which you should be aware.
When you have received disability benefits, the Ohio Police & Fire Pension fund ("Police & Fire") has found you to be unable to work at police or fire employment or any type of similar employment. Under Ohio Revised Code 742.40(C), if you are receiving disability benefits, Police & Fire may terminate your benefits if one of their physicians certifies you as having recovered, or if you return to work as a police officer or firefighter.
By September 1st of each year, you must submit an annual earnings statement to Police & Fire, reporting your earned income for the previous calendar year. Also, Police & Fire will conduct an annual medical evaluation of any member who would not have been eligible for a normal service retirement pension at the end of the reporting year. Police & Fire's Board of Trustees may waive these requirements if their physician has certified your disability is ongoing and that the disabling conditions meet the policy established by the Board of Trustees. Still, the Board reserves the right to order you to undergo a medical evaluation at any time.
If you are receiving disability benefits, Police & Fire may reduce or terminate your benefits if you have experienced an improvement in your earning capacity. If Police & Fire terminates your disability benefits, you may still receive a retirement pension if you had sufficient service credits at retirement, and if you satisfy all other conditions for service retirement.
If you have recovered and are able to return to your official police or fire duties, or you become employed as a police officer or firefighter, your disability benefits will end. If Police & Fire terminates your disability benefits, you may still receive a retirement pension if you had sufficient service credits at retirement, and if you satisfy all other conditions for service retirement.
Under Ohio Revised Code 742.40(C)(1), Police & Fire considers you to be on a "leave of absence" during the first five (5) years after you have resigned to receive a disability retirement benefit. If you recover and your disability benefits are terminated during this five-year time period, your employer at the time of your disability award, at your request, must reinstate you, subject to certain restrictions. If mutually agreeable to both you and a Police & Fire covered employer, you could be reinstated at any time. In either event, your disability benefit terminates, your active membership is reestablished with Police & Fire, you are given a service credit equal to the period of compensated disability, and your contributions are reduced by the total amount of disability benefits paid to you.
The above information is intended solely as an overview. It is advisable to contact an Columbus disability lawyer to assess the merits of your individual continuing eligibility claim. Please call us at (614) 344-6822 to discuss the specifics of your case.
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