Ordinary disability benefits, duty disability benefits, and occupational disease benefits are available to injured police officers in Chicago. These benefits are administered by the Municipal Employees’ Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago. Injured officers who are employed by the city are eligible to receive these benefits.
Three Types of Disability Benefits Available
Although there are three types of disability benefits offered to Chicago police officers, injured plan participants can only apply for one type. If applications are submitted to obtain more than one type of benefit for the same injury or illness, all applicable applications will be denied. Injured officers may be eligible for:
- Ordinary Disability Benefits
- Duty Disability Benefits
- Occupational Disease Benefits
Ordinary Disability Benefits are available for officers who are injured outside of the line of duty. These benefits are payable for periods of disability that exceed 30 days where the officer is not eligible to receive a regular salary. An officer is eligible to receive a year of ordinary disability benefits for every four years of service. This benefit cannot exceed five years and is equal to 50 percent of the officer’s salary at the time the disability began.
Duty Disability Benefits are provided to officers who receive a disabling injury during an act of duty and are not eligible to receive their normal salaries. This benefit is equal to 75% of the officer’s salary. If the disability was caused by any existing physical defect, disease, or mental disorder that existed when the injury occurred, the benefit amount will be reduced to 50%. Officers who suffer a heart attack while performing their duties are considered injured during an act of duty and are eligible for duty disability benefits.
Occupational Disease Disability Benefits are provided to police officers who have at least 10 years of service, who suffer a heart attack or other type of disabling heart disease and are not eligible for duty disability benefits. The benefit is equal to 65 percent of the officer’s salary that is attached to his or her rank at the time he or she is removed from the department’s payroll.
It is the officer’s burden to establish his or her entitlement, follow the correct application procedures, meet applicable deadlines, and submit requests for reconsideration if the claim is denied. Failing to follow the proper procedures or to comply with the terms of coverage may result in benefit delays or denials.