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When Can Police Officers Receive Workers’ Compensation in California?

 Posted on January 11,2022 in Workers' Compensation

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1492492898.jpgIn many cases, people who are injured while on the job will qualify for workers’ compensation benefits that will address their medical expenses and ensure that they receive a certain percentage of their income while they are recovering from their injuries. While workers’ comp laws apply to all employees, people in high-risk occupations may be able to receive some additional benefits and protections to ensure that they will have the financial resources they need as they address work-related injuries. Police officers will want to understand the laws that apply to them in these situations, and they can take steps to ensure that they receive the full benefits they deserve following an injury or work-related health condition.

Full Disability Benefits for California Police Officers

For most workers, temporary or permanent disability benefits provide compensation for a percentage of the income that a person is unable to earn while recovering from their injuries. However, California law states that police officers are entitled to receive their full salary when taking a temporary leave of absence to recover from an injury or illness that arose out of their duties. This leave of absence can last for up to one year, and after that period, an officer may continue to receive workers’ compensation disability benefits.

The following types of officers are eligible for full disability benefits:

  • City police officers

  • Sheriffs and officers or other employees of sheriff’s offices

  • County probation officers

  • County peace officers

  • Airport law enforcement officers

  • Harbor or port police officers

Presumption of Work Injuries Affecting Police Officers

One issue that can affect workers’ compensation claims is the determination of whether an injury is work-related. Fortunately for police officers, California law states that certain conditions are presumed to be work-related, allowing them to qualify for benefits without the need to demonstrate that their injuries or illnesses were caused by specific incidents or conditions. Injuries and illnesses that are presumed to be work-related for police officers include:

  • Pneumonia

  • Heart trouble, including coronary heart disease, arrhythmia, cardiomyopathy, enlarged heart, and other cardiovascular disorders

  • Hernia

  • Cancer, including leukemia, for officers who have been exposed to known carcinogens

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

  • Tuberculosis

  • Certain types of infectious diseases, including COVID-19

  • Injuries caused by exposure to toxic biochemical substances

  • Meningitis

  • Lower-back disorders for officers who have been employed for at least five years and were required to use a duty belt to carry firearms, handcuffs, batons, and other tools

Contact Our Morgan Hill Workers’ Comp Lawyers

While certain types of injuries and illnesses may be presumed to be work-related for police officers, these presumptions may be rebutted, and officers may need to take action to make sure they can receive the workers’ comp benefits they deserve. If you are looking to secure benefits for a work-related injury, Cramer + Martinez can help you file a claim and take steps to protect your rights. Contact our Gilroy workers’ compensation attorneys today at 408-848-1113 to schedule a complimentary consultation.


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