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In the last six weeks, over 150 Minneapolis police officers have started the process of filing disability claims.
Meuser, Yackley, and Rowland, P.A. has represented thousands of individuals with their workplace disability and injury claims and specializes in supporting public employees and law enforcement officers eligible for PERA benefits due to physical and mental disabilities, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Today Founder Ron Meuser, Jr. issued the following statement:
In order to qualify for Duty Disability benefits under the PERA Police and Fire Plan or the PERA Correctional Plan, a police officer, firefighter, or corrections officer will need to demonstrate that he or she has a condition that is expected to prevent him or her from performing the normal duties of the position for a period of not less than 12 months as a direct result of an injury incurred during the performance of inherently dangerous duties that are specific to the position. See Minn. Stat. § 353.01, subd . 41 and Minn. Stat. § 353E.001, subd, 1.
Police officers pay into the Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA). PERA offers a number of benefits to police officers who pay into PERA, one of which is a regular retirement pension. Under PERA once an officer reaches age 55 with at least 20 years of service they are eligible for a full pension which is 60% of their high five. While an officer can consider an early retirement starting at age 50 there can be significant penalties or other limitations on the benefits they would receive. In short, whether an officer works for Minneapolis, St. Paul or another department, retiring under PERA is simply not an option for many of Minnesota’s police officers.