Updated: Mar 12, 2020
Nick appeared at today's monthly meeting of the Pension Fund's Board of Trustees, representing the interests of CEA, LBA, SBA and DEA members whose applications for disability retirement were on the Board's agenda.
Many of the approvals this month were for World Trade Center reclassification of service retirees' pensions. The WTC Disability Law allows retired members to file for an upgraded pension if they develop disabling conditions as a result of their exposure. The approvals included several retired members suffering from cancer, along with several retirees with significant respiratory problems. Fortunately, we were able to verify the WTC exposure of all new applications that were on this month's calendar.
In addition to the WTC-related approvals, there were several applications for WTC reclassification that were disapproved and moved off the calendar because the medical evidence did not support a finding of disability. It is an important reminder to members that we have to establish the severity, and not the mere presence, of a WTC related condition. It is essential that you treat and document your symptoms, including following up with specialists, filling medications, going for recommended tests, and complying with treatment protocols. Absent evidence of the severity of your condition, it is unlikely that we can get your case approved at the Medical Board, even if your conditions have been certified by the WTC Health Program and the VCF has found you eligible for compensation.
We also had several orthopedic and Heart Bill cases approved this month. Today’s orthopedic applications were for injuries sustained in RMP accidents, altercations with perpetrators, other police related duties like running while responding to a crime in progress and losing balance while securing unknown damaged property. The injuries were typically severe enough that they required or were recommended for surgery. The Heart Bill cases included members that experienced a heart attack or had obstructive coronary artery disease which required intervention (stenting).
We encourage all Detectives, Sergeants, Lieutenants, Captains and above to contact us early in the disability process. Many of this months' approvals were cases that we helped developed along the way, while many of this month's disapprovals were cases in which we were not involved until very recently. Please use our office as a resource to help guide you through the process. Our number is (212) 766-5800, or you can contact Nick directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.