Police officers perform a critical service, often at significant risk to their personal health and safety. If you are a California police officer who becomes injured or ill due to your line of duty, you might wonder about your options for financial assistance. The two primary sources are workers’ compensation and a disability pension.
While both income sources aim to provide financial support in times of need, they have distinct differences that are important to understand.
Workers’ compensation provides benefits to workers who suffer a work-related injury or illness. These benefits cover medical expenses and partially replace lost wages. However, California state law limits the amount you can receive, and the benefits are temporary. Once you recover and can return to work, the benefits cease.
A disability pension, on the other hand, is a long-term benefit available to police officers who become permanently unable to perform their job due to a disability. It is not limited to disabilities resulting from work-related incidents. The benefits are often larger than those from workers’ compensation and can continue for the rest of your life.
How you can receive both
In certain situations, you may be eligible to receive both workers’ compensation and a disability pension. For example, if you have a permanent disability due to a work-related incident, you could receive workers’ compensation for immediate medical costs and lost wages and then transition to a disability pension for long-term support.
Understanding the differences between workers’ compensation and a disability pension can help you make an informed decision if you are a California police officer facing a work-related injury or illness. It is important to thoroughly understand the eligibility requirements and benefits of each program to secure your financial future.