Questions Raised About First Responder Disability Leave

New York State representatives for the Lower Hudson Valley requested Tuesday that the government saves millions of dollars by deciding faster whether a first responder injured while on duty can receive disability retirement and look into a bill that would reduce injury claims. According to a recent investigation done by the Journal News, in the current system all benefits are generally the same for officers, no matter the injury. Reports show that in the past decade taxpayers in Rockland, Westchester, and Putnam counties have paid over $163 million dollars to firefighters and police officers who were out of work due to injuries varying from gunshots to twisted ankles. Assemblymen Kenneth Zebrowski stated that the facts produced by the investigation prove that the issue of disability pensions should be looked into and improved. Westchester Assemblyman Steve Katz also spoke Tuesday stating that he agrees the issue needs to be checked but it is complicated and benefits should not be exploited by officers, but they shouldn’t be taken away from the deserving either.

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