Does Police Officer Disability Retirement Have Age Restrictions

If you’re a police officer in New York who’s thinking about taking medical retirement, you might have questions about whether you qualify for disability benefits. You might wonder if there is a disability retirement age requirement. As a general rule, the only age requirement is that you are under normal retirement age.

Police Officer Disability Retirement in New York: Options to Be Aware Of

The requirements you must meet to take early retirement disability as a police officer in New York depend on what department or agency you serve in. Furthermore, members of the Police and Fire Retirement System fit into the following tiers based on when they joined, which determines their benefits:

  • Tier 1: Joined before July 31, 1973
  • Tier 2: Joined between July 31, 1973, and June 30, 2009
  • Tier 3: Joined between July 1, 2009, and January 8, 2010 (with some exceptions)
  • Tier 5: Joined between January 9, 2010, and March 31, 2012
  • Tier 6: Joined on April 1, 2012, or after

These tiers determine the specific type of disability retirement an officer can take and the benefits an officer is entitled to. However, there is no age requirement for taking disability.

Let’s explore some specific disability retirement programs to better understand the requirements that might apply to you.

State Police Disability

To be eligible for this form of police disability retirement, you must meet all the following criteria:

  • You are younger than 60.
  • A disability you sustained while performing your duties as a police officer has left you mentally or physically incapacitated. The disability cannot be the result of your willful negligence. You can meet this criterion regardless of your years of service.
  • You currently serve in the service your membership is based on. If yours is a work-related disability and you no longer serve, you have two years from the time your service ended to file for this disability benefit. If your disability is not work-related, you have 90 days from when your service ends to file.

If you were not in service when you suffered the disability, you must have earned at least five years of service credit in the Division of State Police to qualify. In this context, “service” means any of the following:

  • You were on the Division of State Police’s payroll.
  • You were on an authorized medical leave of absence, regardless of whether you received pay during this time.
  • You were receiving workers’ compensation benefits (or a similar employer-funded benefit). You had not left your job or been terminated while you received benefits.

State Police Accidental Disability

Does Police Officer Disability Retirement Have Age RestrictionsYou must meet both of the following criteria to be eligible for this disability benefit in New York:

  • You have sustained a mental or physical disability that leaves you unable to perform your duties. The disability resulted from an accident while you were in service and didn’t result from your willful negligence.
  • You are currently in the service your membership is based on. You have two years to file for this benefit if your service ends after the accident.

You need to file an application for this benefit within one year of the accident occurring. Or, you can take one of the following actions:

  • Filing a written notice with the New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS) within 90 days of the accident
  • Filing a written notice with your employer within 30 days of the accident

When filing a written notice with either of the above parties, the notice should include the following:

  • When and where the accident occurred
  • A description of the accident
  • A description of your injuries
  • A description of the way your injuries incapacitate you

What qualifies as an “accident” in this context depends on various factors. Those reviewing your application will reference past court decisions to decide if the cause of your disability is an accident.

Contact a New York Police Disability Benefits Lawyer

As a police officer in New York, you’ve dedicated your life to keeping others safe. You deserve to receive proper disability benefits if you must retire because of a disability.

Pursuing the benefits for which you’re eligible is often easier with the help of a legal professional. At Fusco, Brandenstein & Rada, P.C., a New York police disability benefits lawyer can help you gather the documentation needed to show you meet the criteria. 

We can also handle all tasks the application process involves. This can simplify your life during a time when you may need to focus on your health. Learn more by contacting us online or calling us today at 516-496-0400 for a free case review.

Categories: Police Disability

Last Updated : April 19, 2024
Available To Clients 24/7

We know how important it is to reach us when you need us. That’s why we provide 24/7 customer service so you can speak with an experienced legal professional at your convenience.

Request A Free Consultation