Retirement is a bad word for injured workers in workers’ compensation. If an employee retires then he or she cuts him or herself off from access to many types of Minnesota workers’ compensation benefits. Retirement means that an employee is removing him or herself from the labor market. Employers and insurers often erroneously equate PERA Duty Disability benefits with retirement.
Separation as a Result of a Disability – Not Retirement
At Meuser Law Office, P.A. we frequently see employers and insurers who attempt to cut off police officers, first responders, and firefighters’ benefits through a NOID (“Notice of Intent to Discontinue Benefits”) or a Rehabilitation Request when the injured employee separates from their employer in order to receive PERA Duty Disability benefits. Insurers and employers attempt to equate PERA Duty Disability benefits with retirement under the law. The courts have uniformly held that employees who separate from their employers in order to receive PERA Duty Disability benefits are not retired. Despite that these employees are not retired, employers and insurers may still try to use this defense. PERA Duty Disability benefits are not retirement benefits. An employee who receives service-based government retirement pensions is presumed retired from the labor market. But, service-based government retirement pension does not include disability-based government pensions. Minnesota Statute § 176.101, subdivision 8.