Office Locations v

What’s The “3/4” Accidental Disability Retirement Pension Bill?

The public building of New York State Supreme Court located in the Civic Center neighborhood of Lower Manhattan in New York City

On December 8, 2023, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law a new “3/4” Accidental Disability Retirement Pension bill for uniformed court officers or peace officers employed by the Unified Court System.

These officers play a crucial role in maintaining safety and order within the court system by ensuring the security of court premises, personnel, and visitors. They screen visitors to courthouses, escort prisoners to and from court appearances, and respond to any disturbances or security threats that come up.

Sometimes, these officers are the victims of physical assault. And in some cases, they are unable to return to the job.

So what does this new change mean for them and their eligibility for a civil service disability pension? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions.

What makes me eligible to file and what do I have to prove?

To be eligible, you must be injured as the result of a “physical assault by an assailant, sustained in the performance of your duties.

To be approved, you must also be permanently, physically, or mentally incapacitated to perform your duties due to the injury from the assault.

How does the Retirement System define “assault” and “assailant”?

That’s a great question and one we will learn as the cases evolve. One thing for sure is that it might not be the common dictionary definitions.

Does this apply to if I take action off duty?

Maybe. The argument will be that you took required police or peace officer action to prevent a crime from occurring, even if you were not in uniform and not at your regular work location.

What is the filing deadline?

The bill took effect immediately in December 2023. Regardless of the date of the assault, the deadline to file for an Accidental Disability Pension is within two (2) years from the date removed from payroll. Therefore, if you are still on payroll, there is generally no urgency to file. Of course, the strategy on when to file is always based on individual circumstances.

Can I file for this if I’ve already retired on a regular Service Retirement or a lesser Disability Pension?

Yes, HOWEVER, you would only have within two (2) years from the effective approval retirement date of that Disability Pension or Service Pension to file.

Unfortunately, if you were approved more than two years ago from an injury because of an assault, you would not be eligible to file for this new benefit.

Our attorneys are here to help

The application process for civil service disability pensions is complicated, and initial claims are often denied. That’s why you need an experienced civil service disability pension lawyer on your side. At Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano, LLP, our lawyers know how the system works and can guide you through the process every step of the way.

Whether you have questions about the “3/4” Accidental Disability Retirement Pension bill or the civil service disability pension process, we are happy to help. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation at one of our New York offices.

Categories: Posts