Fresno Police Officer Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Being a law enforcement officer means being in harm’s way every moment you are at work. This physical danger and emotional stress can take a toll, even on the strongest officers. Thankfully, the state’s workers’ compensation program recognizes that law enforcement work differs from other jobs, offering special benefits to police officers.

If you suffered an injury at work or developed an illness you think might be related to your job in law enforcement, consult a local workers’ comp attorney right away. A Fresno police officer Workers’ Compensation lawyer could explain your benefits and help you file a claim. If a claim you submitted was denied, our legal team could help with appealing the decision.

Unique Benefits for Law Enforcement

One of the most generous workers’ comp benefits available to police offers is enhanced temporary disability payments. Many officers are entitled to one year of leave at full salary if a work-related injury prevents them from resuming their job duties. These are called “4580” benefits, after the section of the Labor Code that authorizes them.

These benefits are not available to everyone who works for a police department or law enforcement agency. Although workers from some agencies are eligible, only employees whose job duties include active law enforcement can access 4580 benefits. Examples of people eligible for 4580 benefits include:

  • Police officers
  • Sheriffs
  • Investigators at County District Attorney’s Offices
  • County probation officers
  • Park rangers
  • Harbor police
  • Airport law enforcement officers
  • Fish and Game wardens

These benefits are not taxable, so the officer receives their full wage without tax deductions while receiving 4850 payments.

If a law enforcement officer receives a full year of 4580 benefits and still cannot return to work, they could receive regular temporary disability benefits for another year. A Fresno attorney could explain how a police officer could access this type of workers’ compensation payment.

What Conditions are Presumably Law Enforcement Related?

Workers in many industries develop physical and mental health conditions related to their employment. Fortunately, the workers’ compensation program offers benefits for these work-related conditions, but the employee must prove a connection between their work and the disease they developed.

However, there are some illnesses or conditions that police officers do not need to prove and connect to their job. The workers’ comp program will presume that certain health conditions arose out of a police officer’s employment, including:

  • Heart problems
  • Pneumonia
  • Hernia
  • Tuberculosis
  • Diseases caused by blood-borne pathogens

In addition, some cancers are presumptively linked to employment as a police officer, but the officer must demonstrate exposure to the specific carcinogen linked to their cancer. A Fresno attorney could confirm a police officer’s cancer diagnosis and help them collect workers’ compensation benefits for this condition.

Meanwhile, some presumptions require an officer to have served for a minimum time. For instance, people who served as police officers for at least five years and wore a duty belt benefit from a presumption that a lower back injury or condition is related to their service.

Timeframe for Claiming Workers’ Compensation Benefits as an Officer

IA police officers can likely seek benefits for an employment-related condition anytime during their employment and for a short while after they quit the force. In most cases, you must file the claim within one year of leaving the job. In some presumption cases, there is an extension.  For each year a person is employed as a police officer, they gain an additional three months of eligibility to file a claim for some presumptive employment-related conditions.  However, since this does not apply to everything, it is important to file the claims timely.

For example, a person who served for five years could claim benefits for up to 15 months after they left the job. Someone with 20 years or more of experience could claim benefits for a work-related disease for up to 60 months after retirement. The time limit for filing post-employment claims is 60 months in most cases. However, in some cases, a former officer could file a post-employment claim for cancer up to ten years after leaving duty. A Fresno attorney could help a retired officer calculate how much time they have to file a workers’ comp claim.

Trust a Fresno Attorney with Your Police Officer Workers’ Compensation Claim

As a law enforcement officer, you have a difficult and dangerous job that could affect your health. Thankfully, the state’s workers’ compensation program recognizes your service by offering extra benefits and easing your burden of proof for some claims.

A Fresno police officer workers’ compensation lawyer could support officers whose work has impacted their health and ensure they get the benefits they deserve. Call today to schedule a case review.