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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    3

    Exclamation Forced Medical Retirement

    Hi all. I need some help. I have been working for 25 years and I recently suffered from a Heart Attack. ( my first work comp claim in 25 years)Because of my profession this is covered by worker comp. So I am sure I will get coverage. But I am very scared of them retiring me. I had a friend, after suffering from the same, went to work only to get call up front and was told he now he was now medically retired. He didn't have a say at all.

    If this happens to me how does it work? Will I lose all my retirement I payed into for 25 years and get a little piece of crap retirement check from State Comp? I only have 3 years before I actually retire with 85 to 90% of my pay.

    Can some please explain this to me? Thank you.
    Last edited by Trigger; 03-19-2009 at 04:10 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    132

    Default Re: Forced Medical Retirement

    So Police or Fireman?

    My guess is you are a Union Member? I think the question you are asking may be covered by your collective bargaining agreement. It is likely an Employment Law question more than a WC question.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,021

    Default Re: Forced Medical Retirement

    You may also be eligible for benefits others are not...http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/di...file=4850-4856 read through the provisions in that link.

    It does sound like a civil service job/profession.
    A medical retirement is based on medical evidence, and not the decisions of your supervisors....

    I have a brother-in-law who is a police officer, there are many warranted comp claims within the last few years prior to retirement. You are eligible for 104 weeks of TTD within 2 years, or 5 years depending on your situation...you could conceivabaly be on a comp leave for the next 3 years until your normal retirement age. You would not lose any of your retirement benefits due to being on a work related injury/illness leave.
    As Bigdog said though it will be based on your contract. Check with your union rep.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    339

    Default Re: Forced Medical Retirement

    From the sounds of this you are a Civil Servant and I am guessing a peace officer most likely in corrections.

    I can probably answer many if not most of your questions if this is the case. Let me know and I will give you a better response.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Forced Medical Retirement

    Thank you everyone for your help.

    I talked to two union reps and got 2 different answers.
    So as you can guess I am still a little confused.

    One told me that I will only get 50% of my pay. Which doesn't seem right because if I retired right now on a non med then I would get 75% of my pay thus losing 25%.

    Another told me that I would get my years of serves at 75% and then a certain percent of that ( what ever the QME rated me at) would be tax free. This seems more logical to me. But which answer is correct?

    Again thank you guys for your help.

    Oh and yes I am a Peace Officer.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,021

    Default Re: Forced Medical Retirement

    This seems more logical to me. But which answer is correct?
    The answer is to discuss the merits of your comp claim with an attorney handling WC,
    Discuss the retirement issues with that AA, or an atty who handles the PERS issues.

    There have been discussions here before/now where the PERS people are recommending...highly, that the applicant retain an attorney where there is an administrative hearing held to determine the issues in a retirement claim. "They'' do fight over this. Nothing is automatic...

    While the WC AA only takes a fee where there is an award/settlement, the PERS atty could ask for up front fees, beyond consultation, and/or an hourly fee structure.

    You could probably talk to 10 or more people who adminsiter these benefits, and get 10 or more answers...similar, but then WAY far apart.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    339

    Default Re: Forced Medical Retirement

    Your medical retirement and WC are two completely seperate issues. Your WC will be based upon any final rating done and more than likely will not result in a lifetime pension. BvIA or some others here can better answer those questions as your claim progresses.

    Administratively they can submit for a medical retirement however the decision is up to CalPers. You would be aware of the submission and would more than likely be evaluated by a doctor through Pers for the determination. Their decision to do this will hinge on several factors. The main one being your condition as reported by the doctor treating you. The simple fact that you suffered a heart attack will not be cause for them to retire you. It will have more to do with how you recover and the doctor's determination of your ability to perform the duties of a peace officer. There are many who have returned after such an event and are still working.

    Of course you also need to be aware of all the alternatives. Medical retirement is one of those. If that is the case you would receive a retirement equal to 50% of your pay. The biggest thing with this is that it is tax free and your medical insurance is covered. You would still pay for coverage for dependants but it is fairly reasonable. When you take that into consideration the difference between it and your service retirement is not nearly as much. If you are of service retirement age you can also submit for that instead (it would be your choice). You would need to do some calculations as to which would benefit you the most. If you are not of age then you could still convert the medical retirement to service retirement when you come of age.

    Another thing to look at is submitting for the medical retirement yourself. I know that sounds odd being that is what you are trying to avoid. What it does though is prevent them from being able to medically retire you. If they submit then you have no say other than medical reports and you cannot stop the process. If you submit for it they are stopped from submitting and you can rescind the application at any time prior to it being approved. You are going to get lots of different stories regarding how long such an application takes. That is because there is no normal. Some can take more than a year while others are approved within a couple of months. If your package is incomplete it will slow the process.....!!!!

    Another thing that medical retirement provides is your right to reinstatement. Should your condition or reason for the retirement improve to the point that you are able to perform the duties of your former position you can apply for this. It will be up to you to provide medical documentation for this. Again you would probably have to see a Pers doctor for their approval.

    You can make an appointment with CalPers and discuss all of these things with them. Believe it or not they are fairly knowledgeable and helpful. If you have or are being offered early intervention counseling I would suggest you accept it. He can help you immensely with your questions and decisions.

    If you have other questions let me know. I am actually pretty familiar with this process.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Forced Medical Retirement

    Thank you again everyone has been very helpful.

    I think I will just ride this out and see were the chips fall. If something bad happens I will get an Attorney. For right now I only have two and half years before I am of retirement age and nearly maxed out on my retirement.(1 and half years short) As slow as they are i will be retired before the even know what to do....lol

    Thank again

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