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Special Benefits for Police Officers Injured at Work

police officer working during daytimeGovernment employees like police officers who get hurt on the job are entitled to certain benefits that are not available to other injured workers. For example, if you fit certain qualifications you can receive your full salary for up to one year. There are also state laws that specifically benefit law enforcement officers.

Learn more below about the benefits law enforcement officers are entitled to when they suffer an injury at work. Contact the Bakersfield workers’ compensation attorneys of Berry, Smith & Bartell for a free, no obligation consultation today to learn how they can help you pursue the benefits you deserve.

One Year's Salary

Certain types of California law enforcement officers who are injured on the job or suffer a work-related illness are eligible for one year of their full salary, tax free. This benefit is in place of disability benefits, which only equal two-thirds of an individual’s salary.

The one-year salary benefit for work-related injuries and illnesses is explained in Section 4850 of the California Labor Code. Under the law, the following government employees are eligible for one year's salary:

  • City police officers
  • Sheriffs
  • Certain other sheriff’s department employees
  • County probation and juvenile service officers
  • County group counselors
  • Certain other probation office employees
  • Airport law enforcement officers
  • Harbor police officers
  • Park rangers

To be eligible for this benefit, your job function must be within the scope of active law enforcement. The following types of employees are not eligible because they are not involved in active law enforcement:

  • Clerks
  • Stenographers
  • Phone operators
  • Mechanics
  • Machinists

Disability benefits cannot be collected at the same time as 4850 benefits. After one year of 4850 benefits, you may receive temporary disability benefits if you are still unable to return to work.

Medical Conditions Presumed to be Work-Related

Certain medical conditions suffered by police officers are presumed to be work injuries or work-related illnesses. These conditions include:

  • Pneumonia
  • Hernia
  • Cancer (including cancer related to a carcinogen you were exposed to at work)
  • Heart conditions (high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, abnormal echocardiogram)
  • Meningitis
  • Tuberculosis
  • Lyme disease
  • Blood-born infectious diseases
  • Injuries from biological or chemical agents that may have been used as a weapon of mass destruction

If you have worked as a police officer for five or more years and you have to wear a duty belt, and you suffered a lower back injury, the injury will be considered work-related. Duty belts hold a police officer’s handcuffs, baton, gun and other equipment. Duty belts may be quite heavy, placing strain on the lower back.

Death Benefits

If a police officer is killed in the line of duty, death benefits are paid to the officer’s spouse or dependents. These benefits include:

  • Up to $10,000 for funeral and burial costs
  • Up to $320,000 in survivor’s benefits
  • Health benefits

Law enforcement agencies are required to continue to provide the fallen officer’s spouse with health benefits. The officer's children and any dependents under the age of 18 may receive health benefits. If there is no surviving spouse, the fallen officer’s minor dependent(s) may receive health benefits until the age of 21.

Survivor benefits are paid out equally between a fallen police officer’s dependents:

  • $250,000 for one dependent
  • $290,000 for two dependents
  • $320,000 for three or more dependents

Surviving spouses may choose between monthly survivors’ benefits payments or a lump-sum. In the event the surviving spouse remarries, survivors’ benefits continue to be paid. The new spouse or stepchildren are ineligible for addition to the benefits coverage plan.

Contact Our Reputable Attorneys Right Away

Police officers who suffer on-the-job or work-related injuries may be entitled to compensation for lost wages and medical expenses. Our Bakersfield workers’ compensation lawyers fight to get the maximum compensation injured law enforcement officers deserve.

Set up a free, no obligation legal consultation right now to discover the legal options open to you. We charge our clients no upfront fees – we only receive payment if we successfully recover compensation for you.

For a free case evaluation with Berry, Smith & Bartell, a Professional Law Corporation call 1-800-848-6288 today!

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