As a State Highway Patrol Officer, you have agreed to serve your community and perform duties that are considered inherently dangerous. If through your dedicated service to the community you sustain an injury or illness that was incurred while performing these inherently dangerous duties specific to a State Highway Patrol Officer you may be eligible for Duty Disability benefits. These injuries could be physical injuries or mental injuries, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), that result in disability that prevent you from performing the essential functions of a State Highway Patrol Officer for a period of one year or more.
You have taken care of your communities and you have personally contributed to a plan that is in place to protect those that have protected Minnesota. Every paycheck you have earned through your service has accounted for these benefits that are in place to protect you and your family financially. When you qualify, these Duty Disability benefits are paid at a minimum base rate of 60% of your high-five salary and are a non-taxable benefit. If you have earned more than 20 years of service time, that base rate would increase to the tune of an additional 3% per year of service over 20 years. For example, if you have 23 years of MSRS service, your benefits would be payable at a rate of 69% of your high-five salary. In this situation, the first 60% of the benefit would be non-taxable, however, the additional 9% over the base rate of 60% would be subject to applicable taxes. Once you reach the age of 55, these benefits would then convert to a regular retirement pension at the full rate of 69% and be fully taxable. If the numbers are confusing or intimidating, please reach out to our office. It is our goal to make sure every State Patrol Officer has full and accurate information about the benefit structure of the disability benefit system.
To assert your rights to the disability benefits you have earned through your dedicated service, the Minnesota State Retirement System (MSRS) has a precise application process. This process includes an application for benefits, employer certification, medical statements (2) completed by licensed practicing physicians as well as other personal records MSRS have indicated are needed for proper benefit administration. This completed paperwork must be submitted in “good order” within 18 months of the date you terminate state employment under Minnesota law. If the forms are not submitted in “good order” or within the applicable time limitation MSRS will likely deny the application for the disability benefit.
Established in 1990, Meuser, Yackley and Rowland, P.A. is comprised of a team of attorneys who have dedicated their practice to exclusively focus on the integrated practice of workers’ compensation, PERA/MSRS disability and personal injury laws. Unlike firms that focus in just one area, our firm has a depth of knowledge in these often closely tied areas of law to ensure that your interests are fully protected. We manage your case with a full understanding of all three areas to coordinate to ensure that you receive every benefit and all the compensation you are entitled to under the law.
If you are unsure of how to move forward our firm encourages every State Highway Patrol Officer to contact our firm and schedule an in-person meeting, phone call or Zoom conference to discuss the process and benefits you may be entitled to. It is our goal to make sure that at a minimum you have all of the information you need to protect yourself and your family. We look forward to sitting down with you for a free, no-obligation, confidential consultation. Call us today at 1-877-746-5680.