Santa Ana Police Officer Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

California requires employers to provide insurance benefits to part and full-time employees who develop work-related illnesses or are hurt on the job. Due to the unique dangers associated with being a firefighter or police officer, the state offers comprehensive workers’ compensation presumptions for these employees.

If your job involves protecting and serving your community, you may worry extensively about what to do if you are out of work due to an injury. A Santa Ana police officer workers’ compensation lawyer could help you pursue the benefits you deserve for your service.

Who Counts as a California Peace Officer?

Workers’ compensation benefits may cover medical bills, lost wages, short and long-term disability payments, and retraining expenses if an employee cannot return to their profession after their injury. Generally, employees must prove that a medical condition is work-related to receive benefits, but Santa Ana automatically presumes several diseases to be work-related for peace officers. Those who may qualify for a peace officer designation are:

  • Orange County sheriff’s deputies
  • Santa Ana police officers
  • District Attorney investigators
  • California Highway Patrol officers
  • Arson investigators
  • Harbor police officers
  • Marshalls

Police officers who are diagnosed with cancer must prove they were exposed to cancer-causing agents, such as asbestos, while on the job.

Other disorders may be considered entirely work-related, including heart trouble, high blood pressure, hernias, tuberculosis, pneumonia, Lyme disease, meningitis, blood-borne infections, biological and chemical agents, and lower back injuries caused by wearing a duty belt. Even if some conditions were pre-existing or partially caused by outside factors, California does not apportion benefits and may presume conditions to be 100 percent work-related. An injured peace officer should contact a Santa Ana workers’ compensation attorney to discuss their unique case.

Police Officers May Receive Salaries In Lieu of Disability Benefits

Along with presuming an injury or illness could be entirely work-related, California may provide police officers with their total salaries for one year. They may do this instead of disability benefits that amount to only two-thirds of an employee’s salary. Labor Code 4850 is more inclusive when it defines who is a police officer eligible for a year’s total salary. Employees in the county probation office, group counselors, juvenile service officers, and others may be eligible to receive this benefit.

Injured workers who cannot return to work after receiving total salaries for one year may tap into disability benefits at two-thirds of their salary. Peace officers may be entitled to 104 weeks of aggregate disability payments during any five-year period, which could comprise one year of full pay and one year of reduced salary, neither of which are taxed.

Can Officers Collect Disability and Retirement Benefits?

Peace officers who choose to retire while out on disability cannot simultaneously collect Labor Code 4850 benefits and California Public Employees Retirement System (CALPERS) retirement benefits. Upon retirement, disability payments, in some cases, may end, even if they fall short of the two years permitted. For questions about police officers’ workers’ compensation benefits, contact a Santa Ana attorney who understands the process of applying for benefits and appealing benefit denials.

Get Help from a Santa Ana Police Officer Workers’ Compensation Attorney

While a majority of other state employees work safely from offices, classrooms, stores, and hospitals, police officers can be found on the streets, risking their lives every day. Because of the dangers they face, the state has included two unique benefits for police officers who become ill or injured in the line of duty. These benefits are complex and may be difficult to pursue without legal guidance.

If you are a police officer harmed by your work, you should know your rights regarding state benefits. A Santa Ana police officer workers’ compensation lawyer could assess your case and advise you of your legal options. Contact our firm today to get started.