One issue that comes up in virtually every case we handle involving a firefighter or police officer claim, where the individual is awarded PERA Duty Disability benefits is the question of how are those benefits coordinated with other sources of income? For example, how are PERA benefits coordinated with work comp? and how are they coordinated with earnings in a different type of job?
They are calculated in two different ways, depending on whether you are working or not working. Duty Disability benefits when you are not working combined with your work comp benefits are capped at a total of your salary at the time of the disability or whatever they are currently paying individuals in that position, whichever is higher. So what that means, is essentially you can collect PERA and your work comp benefits up to a cap of 100% of your salary.
If you are working and earning less money than you were as a police officer or firefighter, PERA’s cap increases to 125%. So what that means is that between your PERA benefit, your earnings in another line of employment and your work comp benefits the cap on all three sources of income is 125% of your salary at the time of your disability or what they are paying currently for that position, whichever is higher.
If you exceed that 125% cap, PERA will reduce your benefit $1 for every $3 that you exceed. Now, the nice thing is that in the context of workers’ compensation, if you settle your workers’ compensation claim, we can incorporate language into the final documentation that will virtually eliminate any offset that might occur to your PERA Duty Disability benefits based on your receipt of work comp.
Meuser Law Office, P.A. is one of the few workers’ compensation law firms in the state of Minnesota that also handles PERA and MSRS disability claims. We’ve successfully represented hundreds of police officers and firefighters throughout the state for both workers’ compensation and PERA/MSRS disability claims. Sitting down with us for a consultation to learn more about your potential claims is a lot like financial planning. We can explain what rights you have and make recommendations to you in terms of how to best protect your rights to those benefits. The knowledgeable attorneys at Meuser Law Office, P.A. can help make the process easier. Contact us today for a free no obligation consultation.