Corrections Officer Entitled to On-Duty Disability Retirement Benefits

MDASR served as counsel to a corrections officer in a successful appeal this week concerning disability retirement benefits. As reported in the New York law Journal on March 17, the case concerned a corrections officer who was injured in an altercation with an unruly inmate. The New York State Appellate Division of the Third Judicial Department reversed the decision of the comptroller’s office and held that the corrections officer was entitled to duty-related disability benefits because even if the injuries arose after the struggle with the inmate, they still had a causal connection with that event.

The duties of corrections officers come with inherent perils and dangers which were contemplated by legislature and imposed under Retirement and Social Security Law §607-c. The provision relates the risks faced by corrections officers and the protections provided regarding on-duty disability retirement if a guard must succumb to those risks. In this case, the Presiding Justice Karen Peters cited to the legislative intent of the statute and was joined by Justices William McCartney, Elizabeth Garry and Robert Rose in the ruling.

Many occupations come with a daily risk of danger. If you are injured while on-duty, make sure your rights are protected and you are fairly compensated by contacting an experienced New York State worker’s compensation attorney. Contact the Law Offices of McIntyre, Donohue, Accardi, Salmonson, & Riordan, LLP at (866) 557-7500.

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  • Glenn Graepel

    trying to make my story short–went to retirement get together for Nassau County Correction Officers recently-was told I should seek legal help concerning the retirement pension that I am getting–while performing normal duties as a C.O. on a inmate occupied hospital post, I was checking security of shackles securing inmate to hospital bed, while I was bent over checking shackles inmate moved, I arose immediately and felt sharp pain in lumbar region of my back.–that was on Feb. 19,1991–have not worked a day since–filled out injury reports that day–(CSEA at that time was our bargaining agent)–after seeing dozens of doctors, in 1994 (March 31, 1994) NYSR System notified me that they awarded me an ‘ordinary disability pension’ (based on injury taken place during incident) as of that date. Pension was only 22/60s of my average yearly salary based on my highest 36 consecutive months of previous pay as a C.O.. ( started working for sheriff’s dept. Feb.25,1972).
    I’m extremely confused—many retired c.o.s telling me that since I was in tier 1 my retirement pension percentage should have been a lot more, that there shouldn’t have been any difference whether injury happened as the result of an accident or incident, that at the least, I should have been offered (which I wasn’t) to increase my pension by buying back my time spent in the service (1967-1969).
    Can you assist me in any way, if of course what these guys are telling me are true facts?
    Please take the time to tell me your opinions.

    • MDASR, LLP

      Hello Mr. Graepel – Thank you for your inquiry. Regarding your first question, please feel free to call us anytime at (212) 612-3198 to discuss your particular case. As to the second point, unfortunately, Ordinary Disability Benefits are not considered to be “accidental” injury awards and therefore are considered taxable income by the IRS. Call us anytime if you would like to discuss this further.

  • Glenn Graepel

    Sorry to bother you once more, but this question has been gnawing at me for years. Why is an ‘ordinary disability’ pension subject to payment of Federal Taxes yet the 3/4s pension is Federal Tax free? They are both pensions provided for because of injuries incurred while working on the job as a Correctional Officer.

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